Homelessness Researcher, SBU Alum to Visit Western New York

HNP Communications Around the Province

ALLEGANY , N.Y. — Dr. Dennis Culhane, a 1985 St. Bonaventure University graduate who has been recognized for his pioneering research for combating homelessness, will visit campus and Mt. Irenaeus during a three-day visit Nov. 2 to 4.

Culhane, an associate professor of social welfare policy at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, studies homelessness and housing policy. His research has been instrumental in a national shift in how society addresses homelessness, including expansions in supportive housing for people who are chronically homeless, and housing stabilization programs for people at risk of homelessness.

The community is invited to Culhane’s talk “A Home for Everyone — Addressing Homelessness in America” from 3:30 to 5 p.m., Nov. 2, in Dresser Auditorium. He also will be the guest speaker during the Nov. 3 Friday Forum, where he will address “Learning for Service.” The Friday Forum is open to all SBU faculty and staff.

On Friday evening, Culhane will discuss “Community: Diversity and Oneness” during an overnight  retreat at Mt. Irenaeus Franciscan Mountain Retreat in West Clarksville.. The evening will begin with dinner and a reflection in Holy Peace Chapel following. The overnight will continue through midday Saturday.

Culhane earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology, graduating first in his class, in 1985.  As an undergraduate, he brought together in his own life the study of psychology and the study of the Franciscan experience, said Daniel Riley, guardian of Holy Peace Chapel at Mt. Irenaeus (the Mountain).

“Dennis has always had a keen interest in bridging his personal interest and changing the human condition,” said Dan. For instance, during his time at St. Bonaventure, Culhane spent four weeks at the St. Francis Inn soup kitchen in Philadelphia, and four weeks with the Mountain community.

He is leading an effort to produce an annual report for the U.S. Congress on the prevalence and dynamics of homelessness based on analyses of automated shelter records in a nationally representative sample of U.S. cities.

Culhane has served as counsel to the president and Congress on homelessness issues.   His primary areas of research are homelessness, housing policy, and policy analysis research methods. His current work includes studies of the impact of homelessness on the utilization of public health, corrections and social services in New York City and Philadelphia.

The Mt. Irenaeus program was coordinated by Tim Shaffer, the Mountain’s coordinator of programs and activities.

Other programs relating to Franciscan themes are scheduled for this fall.  On Nov. 10., Ed Coughlin will present a Friday Forum about Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J., and John Dunns Scotis