news releases

2005.12.15 > For Immediate Release
contact: Tim Kaldahl - University Affairs
phone: 402.554.3502 - email: tkaldahl@mail.unomaha.edu

HUD Awards $25,000 Grant to Study Focused on Homelessness

Omaha - Completing his dissertation should be a little bit easier for Patrick McNamara, the coordinator of the Omaha Hate Crimes Project.  The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently awarded the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) a $25,000 grant to help support McNamara's research on collaboration to address homelessness in Omaha and Portland, Ore.

"The funding will make a huge difference as I work on my dissertation," McNamara said.  "The HUD grant is great in three ways: it allows me to free up time to work on my research; is a nice addition to my résumé; and confirms that we have an excellent faculty in UNO's School of Public Administration."

McNamara's dissertation, "Collaborative Success and Community Culture: Cross-Sectoral Partnerships Addressing Homelessness in Omaha and Portland," examines differences in how the two cities address homelessness and how public, private and nonprofit organizations come together to deal with the issue.  Collaboration has also been a major component of his work with the Hate Crimes Project, which is housed in the UNO College of Public Affairs and Community Service (CPACS).  McNamara's doctoral work is also through CPACS.

"Collaboration is an issue I've been thinking about since the late 1980s," McNamara said.  "It's an even more important question to ask today:  How do you get people to work together successfully?"

While the  "community cultures" of Omaha and Portland are different, both cities have collaboratives that bring together the area's homeless social service agencies.  The impact and importance of both local government and local business involvement on the issue are being examined, he said.

"There may not be a single set of ‘best practices' that work everywhere," McNamara said.  "A community's culture may heavily influence what will and will not be successful when trying to alleviate homelessness."

B.J. Reed, CPACS dean, said he is proud that HUD has recognized the importance of McNamara's research.  The grants are extremely competitive, he said.

"Patrick's dedication and enthusiasm in both his work on the Hate Crimes Project and his research are tremendous," Reed said.  "HUD picked a terrific person for its grant."

McNamara plans on finishing and defending his dissertation within a year.

For more information, call (402) 554-3502.

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