Penn Today

Can closing homeless encampments help Philadelphia’s opioid problem?

Can closing homeless encampments help Philadelphia’s opioid problem? A report authored by Dennis Culhane and doctoral student Fritz Graham of the School of Social Policy & Practice and David Metzger of the Perelman School of Medicine shows that shuttering two camps led to many new addiction-treatment slots and some successful placements in permanent or temporary housing. Many challenges remain, however, including a shortage of housing options.

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Penn Today

Negotiating a truce in the war on drugs

On March 13, the student-run University of Pennsylvania Journal of Law & Public Affairs brought experts from the legal realm, activists, social workers, and members of the community together at Penn Law for a daylong symposium, “Addicted to the War on Drugs.”

The conversations focused on a tough question: How to steer the ship in a different direction and get different results?

Jennifer Prah Ruger, the Amartya Sen Professor of Health Equity, Economics, and Policy at Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice, said policies need to be evidence-based and focused on empowering people to make healthy choices and flourish, starting from early childhood. That means improving educational, health care, and work opportunities, as well as bolstering family and neighborhood networks.

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San Francisco Chronicle

Aging onto the street

New research shows people older than 50 are increasingly part of the country’s homeless population. “We should all be very concerned about this,” SP2’s Dennis Culhane, PhD, said. Read the recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle addressing the issues and impacted individuals.

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Trump’s Nominee For Key Post On Gender Violence Alarms Advocates

Women’s rights groups are sounding the alarm about President Donald Trump’s nominee to head a key federal agency charged with reducing violence against women.

Shannon Lee Goessling, a Republican, is under consideration to lead the Office on Violence Against Women, which administers grants to support victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. Advocates say Goessling has limited experience working in the domestic violence field, and has a history of opposing rights for LGBTQ people and immigrants.

Both Susan Sorenson and Richard J. Gelles of Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice are weigh in on gun violence research and violence against women, respectively.

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The Daily Pennsylvanian

Six SP2 faculty members recognized among top 100 social work researchers

Six School of Social Policy & Practice faculty members have been recognized among the top 100 most influential social work faculty.

The Journal of Social Service Research ranked the most influential social work scholars from among 2200 faculty employed by the 76 member programs of the Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education in Social Work. The six SP2 faculty members include Richard Gelles, Steven Marcus, Phyllis Solomon, Ram Cnaan, Susan Sorenson, and Dennis Culhane. They were recognized for their commitment to research and their interdisciplinary approach to addressing social issues.

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CNN Business

Stockton starts giving some residents $500 a month to fight poverty

One hundred Stockton residents started getting monthly payment of $500 on Friday. They’ll receive the extra money for 18 months as part of an experiment testing the impact of universal basic income, also known as UBI.

Two researchers, Dr. Amy Castro Baker, assistant professor at SP2, and Dr. Martin-West, will be studying the Stockton project in real time. Their hope is that the data they collect can be used to increase awareness about UBI’s impact and inform policy around the concept. For example, one of the questions they hope to address is whether UBI helps to ameliorate housing costs.

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California Wants To Copy Alaska And Pay People A ‘Data Dividend.’ Is It Realistic?

California governor Gavin Newsom’s proposal that big tech companies pay a dividend to residents is the latest attempt to address a widening income gap in the state that boasts the most billionaires. Details on how it would work were few—particularly how it would replicate the most successful state dividend, Alaska’s.

“In Alaska, everybody gets the same amount, because the idea is that it’s a natural resource that belongs equally to all Alaskans,” says Ioana Elena Marinescu, an economics professor from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice, who led a February 2018 academic study of the Alaska Permanent Fund. “But with data, the question becomes: ‘Is my data more valuable than your data? If it is, how much more and how much should each person be getting?’ It’s a hard question to solve.”

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The Daily Pennsylvanian

Grad students ‘prep’ formerly incarcerated people to become entrepreneurs

For the last four years, the Penn Restorative Entrepreneurship Program has been dedicated to fostering former inmates’ entrepreneurial passions.

A 10-week intensive program run by Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice, PREP aims to teach previously incarcerated individuals, referred to as “participants,” to be socially responsible entrepreneurs and help them reintegrate into society.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer

Homeless baby boomers a fast-growing presence in U.S. cities

If current trends continue, the number of aging homeless people will more than double in three major metropolitan areas by 2030, straining social and medical services, a report released Tuesday concluded.

Dennis Culhane, a social policy professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice who was principal investigator of the study, said the team found that it would be “cheaper to provide a housing solution” than to continue allowing aging homeless people to spend too much time in hospitals and nursing homes because they have no other options.

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SP2 News

Stephanie R. Fenniri

Student Life

NPL Student Named 2019 New Leaders Council Fellow

Stephanie R. Fenniri, a student in the Nonprofit Leadership (NPL) program at Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2),...

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Faculty & Research

New Penn SP2-Wharton Professional Certificate Program

From Direct Practice to Social Work Leadership A new interdisciplinary collaboration between Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) and...

Alumni Stories

SP2 Alumni Honored at Greater Philadelphia Social Innovation Awards

Two alumni of the Penn School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) were selected as winners in their respective categories...

U.S News & World Report


Penn School of Social Policy & Practice Ranked Among Best Graduate Schools by U.S News & World Report

The University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) has been named among the top 10 schools of...

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