The ARCHES Lab pursues several lines of community-engaged, action research to promote health and address upstream determinants of health disparities among people experiencing homelessness and housing instability. 

With colleagues in SDSU School of Public Affairs, Drs. Calzo and Felner co-lead the Project for Sanitation Justice (PSJ). PSJ works closely with community-based nonprofit Think Dignity to conduct research to drive action towards more just and equitable decision-making around public restrooms in San Diego County. PSJ is currently leading a statewide initiative to inform Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WaSH) resource allocation for unhoused communities across California.

In the Action 4 Health Study, Drs. Calzo and Felner, youth co-researchers, and ARCHES Lab research assistants employed photovoice methodology to examine homelessness, resource access, and stigma among transitional-aged youth during the 2016-2018 San Diego County hepatitis A emergency. 

In collaboration with our partners at San Diego Youth Services (SDYS), the ARCHES Lab is conducting a participatory evaluation of a new expressive arts-based human trafficking prevention program for housing insecure youth. The ARCHES Lab is also working with SDYS to develop and implement a youth-informed intervention to increase health literacy and uptake of COVID-19, flu, and other infectious disease prevention behaviors among housing-insecure youth. 


Current and Past Funding: 

  • California Department of Public Health–Office of Health Equity (PI: Welsh Carroll; Co-PIs: Calzo, Felner, Swayne, Mladenov, Verbyla), 2023-2024
  • CA Alliance of Academics and Communities for PH Equity (MPI: Felner, Calzo, Jellá), 2023-2024
  • SDSU Seed Grant Program (PI: Felner, Co-I: Calzo), 2022-2023
  • NCATS ACTRI Community-Academic Pilot (PI: Felner, Co-I: Calzo), 2022-2024
  • SDSU University Grants Program (MPI: Calzo, Felner), 2017-2019