Presenting recent studies of non-profit organizations involved in poverty relief services in New York City in comparison with programmes in existence across the US, Street Practice provides a front-line, ground-level perspective on innovative research practices designed to solve community problems. It explores the manner in which organizations bridge the gap between research and policy advocacy, with an account of the ways in which research contributes to alleviating or solving a community problem, as well as details on successes and failures of advocacy work, problems and limitations of their research, funding constraints and political resistance. As such, this book not only offers compelling examples of social change in action, but also serves to introduce models for research and policy advocacy that can be applied similarly in other urban areas. Adopting a case-based learning approach that enables readers to better understand the dynamic process of research and policy advocacy, this innovative book will appeal to those with interests in poverty, homelessness, policy advocacy, social work and social change.
Lori McNeil is Director of Research and Policy at the Homelessness Outreach and Prevention Project at the Urban Justice Center, New York, USA.
’Street Practice is an important scholarly intervention. It shows convincingly, even eloquently, that research and advocacy can and should work together more than they do now if both are to get better at what they are trying to achieve. If you are thinking, How can we get to speak truth to power so as to improve the lives of those on the bottom of the socio-economic system?, then you will benefit immeasurably from reading this excellent book.’ Sanford F. Schram, Bryn Mawr College, USA ’For those of us teaching social policy and social change this highly readable book fills a huge gap. I have looked for a book like this for years. Students will love it for the stories it tells of real people making real change. Teachers will love it for the lessons it teaches about how to bridge research and advocacy. Street Practice both inspires and edifies.’ Vicki Lens, Columbia University, USA ’Street Practice shatters the illusion that distance and objectivity produce the keenest insight. McNeil's singular achievement is to show how research comes alive in the hands and minds of community stakeholders. She recognizes that non-profit organizations don't just illustrate or implement scholarly research, but produce knowledge-in-action. It is a lesson that those of us in the academy need to learn if our work is to contribute to human survival and dignity.’ Virginia Eubanks, SUNY at Albany, USA