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  • Tuesday, April 16, 2024 - 12:00pm to 1:15pm

Kelly Writers House, 3805 Locust Walk

What kinds of stories do we tell — do we need to tell — about homelessness in the US in 2024? How can investigative journalism and social-scientific research combine forces to capture the present situation and future dimensions of homelessness? What role do the lives, experiences, and idea of unhoused populations play in the public understanding and policy implications of this social problem? Please join us for an open panel discussion of these questions and more, featuring Dennis Culhane (Dana and Andrew Stone Professor of Social Policy at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice) and Jennifer Egan (award-winning novelist and journalist; Artist in Residence at the Penn English Department). Lunch will be served.

  • moderated by: Julia Fischer (C'24) and Ella Sohn (C'26)
  • rsvp: register here to attend in person


Jennifer Egan is the author of several novels and a short story collection. Her 2017 novel, Manhattan Beach, a New York Times bestseller, was awarded the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and was chosen as New York City’s One Book One New York read. Her previous novel, A Visit From the Goon Squad, won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and was recently named one of the best books of the decade by Time Magazine and Entertainment Weekly. Her new novel, The Candy House, a companion to A Visit From the Goon Squad, was named one of the New York Times’s 10 Best Books of 2022 and one of President Obama’s favorite reads of the year. She recently completed a term as President of PEN America and is currently Artist-in-Residence in the English Department at the University of Pennsylvania. Also a journalist, her year-long reporting on street homelessness and supportive housing in New York City was published in The New Yorker in September, 2023.

Dennis Culhane is the Dana and Andrew Stone Professor of Social Policy at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice, and Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy (AISP) initiative, a MacArthur-funded project to promote the development and use of integrated data systems by state and local governments for policy analysis and systems reform. He is also the former Director of Research for the National Center on Homelessness among Veterans at the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Dr. Culhane’s primary area of research is homelessness and assisted housing policy. His research has contributed to efforts to address the housing and support needs of vulnerable populations experiencing housing emergencies and long-term homelessness. He holds a PhD in Social Psychology from Boston College.