WHO IS PAWS - As the city's largest animal rescue partner and no-kill animal shelter, PAWS is working to make Philadelphia a place where every healthy and treatable pet is guaranteed a home. Since inception over 10 years ago, PAWS has rescued and placed 27,000+ animals in adoptive and foster homes, and has worked to prevent pet homelessness by providing 86,000+ low-cost spay/neuter services and affordable vet care to 227,000+ clinic patients. Just in 2018, 3,584 animals were rescued and 36,871 clinic patients were served. PAWS is funded 100% through donations, with 91 cents of every dollar collected going directly to the animals. Therefore, PAWS' rescue work (including 3 shelters and all rescue and animal care programs), administration and development efforts are coordinated by only about 70 staff members complemented by over 1500 volunteers.
DATA IS UNDERUTILIZED - Through this chain of operational and service activities, PAWS accumulates data regarding donations, adoptions, fosters, volunteers, merchandise sales, event attendees (to name a few), each in their own system and/or manual (Google Sheet) tally. This vital data that can drive insights remains siloed and is usually difficult to extract, manipulate, and analyze. Taking all of this data, making is readily available, and drawing inferences through analysis can drive many benefits: PAWS operations can be better informed and use data-driven decisions to guide programs and maximize effectiveness; supporters can be further engaged by suggesting additional opportunities for involvement based upon pattern analysis; multi-dimensional supporters can be consistently (and accurately) acknowledged for all the ways they support PAWS (i.e. a volunteer who donates and also fosters kittens), not to mention opportunities to further tap the potential of these enthusiastic supporters. And there are bound to be more leverage points as we get further into this project!
PROJECT MISSION - This project seeks to provide PAWS with an easy-to-use and easy-to-support tool to extract data from multiple source systems, confirm accuracy and appropriateness and process data where necessary (a data hygiene and wrangling step), and then load relevant data into one or more repositories to facilitate (1) a highly-accurate and rich 360-degree view of PAWS constituents (Salesforce is a likely candidate target system; already in use at PAWS) and (2) flexible ongoing data analysis and insights discovery (e.g. a data warehouse).
Prevention Point is a private nonprofit organization providing harm reduction services to Philadelphia and the surrounding area.
Currently, they are storing data from their programs in separate Excel spreadsheets, disparate EHRs, and partner data systems. This prevents them from being able to see all activities associated with an individual program participant, and also makes it impossible for them to do meaningful analyses that monitor program health and evaluate efforts.
This project would work to migrate all of the disparate data sources into one system, make a UI that allows Prevention Point to access all participant data in one system, and increase the ease with which program coordinators can evaluate and monitor activities.
Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity (PLSE) is a non-profit legal aid organization that focuses on helping people overcome the barriers they face as a result of criminal records.
On July 1st, they will encounter a problem that will severely hinder their ability to efficiently provide expungements within their current 6-12 month timeframe. The new “automatic sealing” of the Clean Slate Law will go into effect, which will remove their access to criminal records. These documents are needed to draft the legal paperwork necessary for an expungement, or a complete erasure of one’s criminal record.
This project involves “scraping” criminal history record information from a publicly-available database and storing it on secure servers only available to PLSE staff for the purpose of expungements. The data will need to be properly organized in order to easily pull up an individual’s full record. This project is the only way they could continue providing quick, life-changing services to Philadelphia communities.
Philadelphia Bail Fund (PBF) is a revolving fund that posts bail for people who are indigent and cannot afford bail. Our goal is to keep families and communities together and vigorously advocate for the end to cash bail in Philadelphia.
This project aims to provide up to date reports and visualizations on bail, and to track over time its adverse impacts on different populations (e.g. its impact on poorer areas, based on race, or those in jails during the covid 19 pandemic). These reports can educate the public and hold decision makers accountable.
They currently obtain information from a number of data sources:
Bail data - accessible records scraped from the court’s new criminal filings portal.
Local jail data - from phila.gov.
Full dockets - challenging to parse, but comprehensive, bail records in the UJS portal.
This data allows them to take strategic action, and provide education. For example, they use the bail data to produce weekly bail reports. This project would offer support for scraping, archiving the data, and building on these critical reports.
Philadelphia Auto and Parole is a re-entry program to provide formerly incarcerated individuals and youth transitioning back into society an opportunity to earn a living wage through courses in automotive repair. In order to financially support the classes, Philly Auto and Parole functions as both a repair shop and an educational program.
In 2015, the one-year unified recidivism rate (re-arrest of a previously incarcerated individual) for people returning to Philadelphia was 33.9%. Looked at differently, this means that of the 24,089 people released to Philadelphia from the Philadelphia Department of Prisons (PDP) and the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PA DOC), roughly 8,000 people who were re-arrested at least once within a year after their return to the community from incarceration.
As of 2011, approximately 40,000 people return to Philadelphia from state and federal prison every year, and approximately 44,000 people in Philadelphia — 3 percent of the city’s population — are on probation at any given time.
That’s hundreds of thousands of Philadelphians, primarily people of color, fighting to escape the pull of gravity — the cycle of recidivism that keeps people with criminal records unemployed, at-risk of re-arrest and eventually, back in prison.