M. Lori Thomas
Dr. M. Lori Thomas is an Associate Professor of Social Work and a Hartford Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholar. Her research examines programmatic and systemic responses to homelessness and housing instability across the life course, particularly among older adults and people with health and mental health disorders. Her research is informed by over 15 years of practice experience in affordable housing, community development, and homelessness, including developing and implementing the first housing first permanent supportive housing program in Virginia. She is currently the Principal Investigator of the Housing First Charlotte-Mecklenburg Research & Evaluation Project and co-leads the Housing First Lived Experience Action Project (LEAP). Dr. Thomas has also examined the activities, effectiveness, and implications of faith-based human service and advocacy organizations.
PhD, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2008, Social Work
MSW, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2006
MDiv, Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, 1997
BA, Carson-Newman College, 1993, Religion
Dr. Thomas teaches graduate courses on social work practice with organizations and communities and social justice and diversity.
- Social Work Practice with Organizations and Communities I (Concentration)
- Social Work Practice with Organizations and Communities II (Concentration)
- Social Work, Social Justice, and Diversity
- Field of Practice Seminar
- Social Policy I
- Social Work Practice with Organizations and Communities (Foundation)
Research Interests/Areas of Expertise
- Housing First
- Chronic Homelessness
- Programmatic and Systemic Responses to Homelessness
- Social Work Mezzo & Macro Practice
- Faith-Based Service Provision
Awards & Honors
- 10 Under 10 Alumni Awards, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2015
- Hartford Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholar Award, 2011
- CHHS Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award, 2010
Housing First Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Working Committee Member (2015-Present)
Council on Social Work Education, Commission on the Role and Status of Women in Social Work Education (2010-2016)
Housing Advisory Board of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Research and Evaluation Committee Chair (2010-2015)
Emergency Food & Shelter Program, Mecklenburg County Local Board Member (2011-2014)
Access to America Dialogue Series, Working Group Member (June-November, 2012)
United Way Expert Panel on Crisis, Housing & Stability, Panelist (January-March, 2011)
Urban Ministry Center, Moore Place Services Committee Member (2009-2011)
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Women’s Summit, Housing Subcommittee (2009-2010)
Netting, F. E., Kettner, P. M, McMurtry, S. L., & Thomas, M. L. (2016). Social work macro practice (6th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Netting, F.E., O’Connor, M.K., Cole, P., Hopkins, K., Jones, J.L., Kim, Y., Leisey, M., Mulroy, E., Rotabi, K.S., Thomas, M.L., Weil, M.O., & Wike, T. (2016). Reclaiming and reimagining macro social work education: A collective biography. The Journal of Social Work Education. 52(2). DOI:10.1080/10437797.2016.1151271.
Thomas, M. L. (2015). Policies affecting community-based social services, housing, and transportation. In Kaplan, D. & Berkman, B., Eds. The Oxford handbook of social work and health in aging (2nd ed.), New York, NY: Oxford University Press, pp. 651-660.
O’Connor, M.K., Netting, F.E., Cole, P., Hopkins, K., Jones, J.L., Kim, Y., Leisey, M., Mulroy, E., Rotabi, K.S., Thomas, M.L., Weil, M.O., & Wike, T. (Online 2014, Published 2015). Voice and community in the corporate academy: A collective biography. Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work, 30 (1), 9-25. DOI: 10.1177/0886109914544717.
Lewinson, T., Thomas, M. L., & White, S. (2014). Traumatic transitions: Homeless women’s narratives of abuse, loss, and fear. Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work, 29(2), 192-205. DOI: 10.1177/0886109913516449.
O’Connor, M.K., Leisey, M., Cole, P.L., Hopkins, K., Jones, J.L., Kim, Y., Mulroy, E., Netting, F.E., Rotabi, K.S., Thomas, M.L., Weil, M.O., & Wike, T. (2014). A collective biography: Women social work academics. Sage Research Methods Cases. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/978144627305014532194
Leisey, M., Cole, P., Hopkins, K., Jones, J.L., Kim, Y., Mulroy, E., Netting, F.E., O’Connor, M.K., Rotabi, K.S., Thomas, M.L., Weil, M.O., & Wike, T. (Online 2013, Published June 2014). On the making of female macro social workers. Reflections: Narratives of the Helping Professions, 19(1), 22-29.
Brown, R., Thomas, M. L., & Hinderlie, M. (2013). Meeting the housing and health care needs of older homeless adults: A supportive housing program targeting homeless seniors. Seniors Housing & Care Journal 21(1), 126-135.
Guinta, N., & Thomas, M. L. (2013). Integrating assessment and evaluation into partnership initiatives: Lessons from the Community Partnership for Older Adults. Journal of Applied Gerontology, DOI: 10.1177/0733464813487587.
Portwood, S. G., Shears, J. K., Brooks Nelson, E., & Thomas, M. L. (2013). An evaluation on the impact of services on children in homeless families. Child and Family Social Work, DOI: 10.1111/cfs.12097.
Netting, F. E., Kettner, P. M, McMurtry, S. L., & Thomas, M. L. (2012). Social work macro practice (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Long, D. D., McCarter, S. A., Thomas, M. L., & Boyd, S. (2012). An exploratory examination of a grant-making project in social work education. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 32(1), 108-120.
Thomas, M. L., O’Connor, M. K., & Netting, F. E. (2011). A framework for teaching community practice. Journal of Social Work Education, 47(2), 337-355.
Thomas, M. L. (2010). The variations and strategies of faith-based advocacy organizations in Virginia. Journal of Policy Practice, 9 (3/4), 240-262.
Thomas, M. L. (2009). Faith and collaboration: A qualitative analysis of faith-based social service programs in organizational relationships. Administration in Social Work 33 (1), 40-60.