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Bridges Out of Poverty: Strategies for Professionals and Communities Paperback – Jan 2009

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Bridges Out of Poverty is a unique and powerful tool designed specifically for social, health, and legal services professionals. Based in part on Dr. Ruby K. Payne's myth shattering A Framework for Understanding Poverty, Bridges reaches out to the millions of service providers and businesses whose daily work connects them with the lives of people in poverty. In a highly readable format you'll find case studies, detailed analysis, helpful charts and exercises, and specific solutions you and your organization can implement right now to: Redesign programs to better serve people you work with Build skill sets for management to help guide employees Upgrade training for front-line staff like receptionists, case workers, and managers; Improve treatment outcomes in health care and behavioral health care; Increase the likelihood of moving from welfare to work. If your business, agency, or organization works with people from poverty, only a deeper understanding of their challenges-and strengths-will help you partner with them to create opportunities for success.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 57 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Read with Objectivity July 31 2015
By Eileen M. Unander - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a little concerned about the ways in which people of generational poverty are characterized in this book. It felt derogatory at times and unnecessarily stereotyping. Some of the concepts were helpful, but I think when working with people with economic challenges it is always important to see the person first and hear their story before jumping to these conclusions...And I guess because the lead author has a PhD I assumed it was a scholarly book but it seems to be based on personal and professional observations...rather antidotal. So I think in some ways this book could do harm while intending to help.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Very nicely packaged to protect the book April 22 2012
By Lynn F - Published on
Format: Paperback
Very nicely packaged to protect the book. This is required reading for Bridges to Circles volunteers. Some parts of the book are very helpful in understanding generational poverty and ways to overcome it. Of course, by necessity the descriptions are often stereotypical but still give an accurate overview of people in poverty. When working with individuals, their particular and different situations and personalities must be uncovered. Just as with any relationship, one must listen carefully and respect each person.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
N/A Oct. 27 2013
By gacooley22 - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book contains priceless information about working with people living in poverty. Unfortunately, it was very difficult, and at times impossible, to read the charts in the Kindle edition. This was very poorly done and should be corrected.
15 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Perpetuates stereotyping and discriminatory practices Sept. 9 2013
By Clara G. Thomas - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I find that the authors' assumptions wrongly stereotypes people, obscures the exceptions to the description of what poor people are taught to believe and gives the wrong impression for which standardized methods to assist people are then formed. For example, to propagate the idea that poor women are taught to use their bodies to make money if they come from a poor family is unjust. By stating this opinion as a fact of generational poverty, without even offering substantiated proof, has the potential of giving caseworkers false impressions about all poor women and thus could undermine concern for the situation the woman is experiencing as well as prevent women from getting the appropriate assistance needed. Perpetuating these stereotypes of woman encourages discrimination and could be the reason women are still prevented from receiving wages equivalent to men as well as undermining corporate advancement opportunities for all women.

In the workbook the authors state that "hundreds of thousands of professionals have already been exposed to and inspired by Dr. Payne's understanding of economic diversity and many towns, cities, counties and some States have begun making changes based on her conjectures." If this model is so successful for assisting the poor by unjustly stereotyping their belief systems then where are the positive results? The government should "first do no harm." To create and utilize programs modeled on the unjust stereotyping of individuals into standardized categories will not successfully help any individual overcome poverty and is perpetuating the problem by forcing individuals into discriminatory definitions used by community leaders, professionals in education, social services, health care, law enforcement, corrections, business; according to the author's own words. The CDC refers to this institutional stereotyping as one of the three types of racism and seeks to eradicate it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A must read if you work with families. Sept. 22 2011
By C. Beytien - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is for anyone working in any capacity with families. Because we all come from different backgrounds, our communities can only succeed if we understand each other. Whether church worker/volunteer, school staff/volunteer, or general community worker/volunteer, this book lays out great information in a way we can all understand and use to benefit ourselves and others.
I also highly recommend Ruby Payne's other books as well.