The Catholic University of America

Faith Mullen, clinical assistant professor, law, was quoted in a Washington Post story about her research on being poor in Washington, D.C. The Post also ran an editorial about the project, which was also led by Enrique Pumar, chair, sociology. See below.

Will the District’s budget recognize the struggles of low-income residents?

From: Washington Post
Date: April 6, 2016
Author: Rochanda Hiligh-Thomas and Chinh Le

Eviction “is a cause, not just a condition, of poverty,” argues sociologist Matthew Desmond in his book Evicted. A recent report released from the D.C. Consortium of Legal Services Providers suggests that the two — seemingly intractable poverty and the struggle for safe, affordable housing — are inextricably linked here in the District. Housing instability and the fear of homelessness are the greatest worries of our most vulnerable neighbors.

But that list of anxieties is long, according to this new report. We dubbed the nearly three-and-a-half year undertaking that led to its issuance the “Community Listening Project” because we wanted to capture more than just impersonal data on the needs of individuals living in poverty. We wanted to hear about the problems they face and the strengths of their communities in their words.

Led by Faith Mullen, a clinical law professor, and Enrique Pumar, a sociologist, both at the Catholic University of America, the study is an exhaustive, qualitative analysis of focus group and survey responses from more than 700 D.C. residents whose household incomes are at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty guideline. (By 2013, roughly 228,300 people, or 35 percent of the District’s population, met this standard.) Its findings paint an illuminating, complex portrait of the lives of those among us struggling, and too often failing, to make ends meet. ...

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Read more about Pumar and Mullen's expertise.

Being poor in Washington means worrying about housing, survey finds

From: Washington Post
Date: April 4, 2016
Author: Perry Stein

... “I was surprised by the number of people who have a number of very serious problems. People that had really grave problems, problems with domestic [abuse], problems with childhood custody, and a very large percentage of them still said housing was their biggest problem,” Mullen said. “It really put it into a larger context.” ...

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Read more about Mullen's expertise.