M. Lori Thomas is the director of research and faculty engagement at the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, where she also serves as director for the Institute for Social Capital. Dr. Thomas is an associate professor of Social Work in the College of Health and Human Services.
Her scholarship interests include programmatic and systemic responses to homelessness and housing instability across the lifespan, particularly among older adults and those with health and mental health disorders. Her research is informed by over 15 years of practice experience in affordable housing, community development, and homelessness.
She is currently leading the evaluation of Housing First Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Charlotte’s effort to end chronic homelessness, and is extensively engaged in community efforts to address homelessness in Charlotte. She completed her MSW and Ph.D. in social work at Virginia Commonwealth University.