The idea came to them at a small dinner among friends. Torie Osborn, a deputy mayor of Los Angeles at the time, bemoaned the growth in homelessness in her city and the lack of staffing to deal with it.
“City governments are so starved in human resources. I don’t have a smart person to do the research I need,” she said.
“Well, my students would love a chance help on a real-world project,” said Barbara Nelson then-dean of the public affairs school at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).