By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – For three years, Richard Glover, a 1980s Temple social work grad, has been meeting weekly for breakfast with about twenty women in a North Philadelphia shelter, hearing their issues and providing them with financial, legal and educational resources to get into their own homes.

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Glover estimates that about 70% have suffered some abuse – physical, verbal, emotional or financial – factors that can lead to homelessness.

Temple’s nursing students provide the residents with health education, doing blood pressure screening, taking body mass measurements, and assisting with child care, applying what they’ve learned in real life settings as a pre-graduation requirement.

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The students believe that in some ways they share the same hardships – employment and health – as those in the shelter.

Their ongoing contact plus empathy makes the experience very valuable, changing the perceptions of a nurse from someone “who only dispenses medication to someone who educates them and prevents health problems from occurring.”

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Read more in Temple University Magazine.