Street Practice: Changing the Lens on Poverty and Public Assistance, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Street Practice

Changing the Lens on Poverty and Public Assistance, 1st Edition

By Lori McNeil


192 pages

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pub: 2016-11-17
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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.


’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

About the Author

Lori McNeil is Director of Research and Policy at the Homelessness Outreach and Prevention Project at the Urban Justice Center, New York, USA.

About the Series

Solving Social Problems

Solving Social Problems

Solving Social Problems provides a forum for the description and measurement of social problems, with a keen focus on the concrete remedies proposed for their solution. The series takes an international perspective, exploring social problems in various parts of the world, with the central concern being always their possible remedy. As such, work is welcomed on subjects as diverse as environmental damage, terrorism, economic disparities and economic devastation, poverty, inequalities, domestic assaults and sexual abuse, health care, natural disasters, labour inequality, animal abuse, crime, and mental illness and its treatment. In addition to recommending solutions to social problems, the books in this series are theoretically sophisticated, exploring previous discussions of the issues in question, examining other attempts to resolve them, and adopting and discussing methodologies that are commonly used to measure social problems. Proposed solutions may be framed as changes in policy, practice, or more broadly, social change and social movement. Solutions may be reflective of ideology, but are always pragmatic and detailed, explaining the means by which the suggested solutions might be achieved.

To submit a proposal for the series, please contact the series editor at


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General