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Emerson Fellow

Alexandra Cawthorne Gaines

11th Class, 2004-2005

Alexandra is a graduate of Vassar College where she earned a dual degree in psychology and urban studies.  She spent a semester at American University with the Transforming Communities Program, and is particularly interested in issues affecting disenfranchised communities of color, such as prison reform and education.  In college, she assisted with transitional services ata correctional facility, and completed internships with the National Alliance to End Homelessness and the National Alliance of Black School Educators.

Field placement: National Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness

New Orleans, Louisiana

Alexandra conducted a research and mapping project of the intersections among housing, emergency assistance, and health in several New Orleans neighborhoods.  She designed a survey instrument, conducted interviews and a focus group, and participated in city council and community organization meetings and hearings related to hunger, health, and housing.  She also supported community assistance programs at Hope House, a local direct service provider.

Policy placement: Poverty & Race Research Action Council

Washington, D.C.

Alexandra compiled a guide to local organizations completing work that relates to the intersection of community health and housing across the nation.  She also assisted PRRAC in putting together a third "Best of Poverty & Race" book and supported PRRAC’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit advocacy project.

Hunger Free Community Report

Federally Defined, Locally Applied: Worst Case Housing Needs in the St. Thomas/Irish Channel Neighborhoods of New Orleans, Louisiana delves into the connection between health and housing in New Orleans, and examines how community health could be improved if housing resources were targeted to those with the greatest housing needs.

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