ISSUE 196 | March 1, 2023

The Institute is an economic research and applied research and consulting group that provides customized client solutions and strategies to facilitate decision making and planning that enhances growth, impact, and sustainability for organizations.
From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News

Local art programs benefit seniors and caregivers  

Scranton’s Arts for Life Care Recipient and Caregivers Program commissions professionals to teach art classes to seniors and their caregivers.


Research suggests that artistic expression stimulates brain activity, and that the learning environment minimizes isolation while enhancing health.


The University of Scranton’s Dr. Catherine Richmond-Cullen helped design the program and establish the Academy for Creative Aging as well.


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Partnership incentivizes donations of nonperishable food for local shelter 

The New Roots Recovery Heartwood Center partnered with Hazleton Area School District so students attending its 13 schools could donate nonperishable food items to a local day shelter.


Their donations were exchanged for an opportunity to dress down.


New Roots initially opened in Wilkes-Barre during 2019 and expanded to its Hazleton site one year later.


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Educational programming helps reduce recidivism   

Pennsylvania state prisons have resumed in-person graduation ceremonies for the hundreds of incarcerated students who have earned degrees through partnerships with universities and vocational schools.


For example, the University of Scranton’s Prison Education Initiative offers Associate of Arts programs identical in rigor to those inside and outside the prison system.


Recidivism rates decline approximately 43 percent when inmates enroll in educational programs.


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Research Spotlight: If you are interested in learning about the impact of senior isolation in Northeastern Pennsylvania, our Health and Health Care Task Force has you covered! A 2022 study explores this issue and offers strategic recommendations for addressing it.


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From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News

Another city reaches functional zero for veteran and chronic homelessness 

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The Housing First model for addressing homelessness promote the provision of permanent and unconditional housing for people in need, so they may safely and comfortably address other goals.


This approach has significantly decreased homelessness among certain population segments in Rockford, Illinois.


Community members may access housing and various support services using a single point of entry. 


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Social media platforms function as the new news outlets  

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About half the adults in the U.S. consume some or all of their news from social media sites.


Twitter ranks first, followed by Facebook. Women are likelier than men to rely on Facebook for news and the opposite is true with regard to Twitter.


News consumers on all social media sights are likelier to identify as Democrats than Republicans.


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Use of artificial intelligence in predicting and battling natural emergencies 

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Artificial intelligence (AI) technology is capable of collecting data surrounding natural disasters such as fires, hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes.


These systems are expected to send messages and alerts to community members, city officials, emergency responders, and researchers.


The goals are to improve preparation for such events, ensure greater response efficiencies, and decrease the number of injuries.


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