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Bridges Out of Poverty: Strategies for Professionals and Communities

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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 re 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 liklihood 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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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 re 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 liklihood 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.

30 review for Bridges Out of Poverty: Strategies for Professionals and Communities

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie Atkinson

    I've long since overcome my tendency to fling books at the wall when I find them offensive, but this book literally begs to be flung. I truly cannot read more than a page or two without catching the blasted thing before it sails. Disguised as a book about how to help those in poverty, this is a text about how different "they" are from "us" - and reminds me with every word about the Ladies Aid Society in To Kill a Mockingbird. Speaking as someone who has worked extensively with those suffering th I've long since overcome my tendency to fling books at the wall when I find them offensive, but this book literally begs to be flung. I truly cannot read more than a page or two without catching the blasted thing before it sails. Disguised as a book about how to help those in poverty, this is a text about how different "they" are from "us" - and reminds me with every word about the Ladies Aid Society in To Kill a Mockingbird. Speaking as someone who has worked extensively with those suffering through poverty, I have to say that the separation of our society into "classes" is condescending and elitist and destructive of unity, and the text fails at every turn to recognize the diversity of individuals and the many forces at play in all of our lives. The undercurrent of expectation that everyone needs to be lifted from one "class" to another is an unsubstantiated assumption - it's certainly not my value system. I have learned a great deal from people suffering through poverty, and hope that I've offered something of value in return, just as I expect all relationships provide two-way growth opportunities. The avid excitement with which social service agencies have embraced this program is a testament to me that we have never lost the desire to condescend to a labelled, over-generalized group of people.

  2. 4 out of 5

    booklady

    Read this at the recommendation of St. Vincent de Paul Society at my initial training. This text is used as basis for training/growth of lower income families enrolled in support groups designed to improve overall economic condition of these families, in other words, to provide a bridge out of poverty for them. The book is extremely varied and draws from a number of outside resources—group studies, other books, individual case files, long-term research, etc.—from agencies across the board: social Read this at the recommendation of St. Vincent de Paul Society at my initial training. This text is used as basis for training/growth of lower income families enrolled in support groups designed to improve overall economic condition of these families, in other words, to provide a bridge out of poverty for them. The book is extremely varied and draws from a number of outside resources—group studies, other books, individual case files, long-term research, etc.—from agencies across the board: social services, business, and numerous professional ‘experts’. How applicable/helpful it would be in practice I can’t say based on my limited experience. It seems highly generalized. The personal stories were what I found the most interesting. There seemed to be some correlation from those stories back to the general info in the chapters. Our local St. Vincent de Paul group help those in need in our area. Our goal is to give people a one-time hand-up so they can get back on their feet. Of course we do have ‘recurring’ cases, but we also have limits on how often and how much we can help chronic returnees because our purpose isn’t to provide long-term support. There wasn’t much in this book which addressed groups such as ours. I confess I skimmed a good deal. Not a bad book. Not especially helpful for me. <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> This book was recommended during my initial training as a Vincentian three years ago but I had too many other irons in the fire then. Still haven't managed to get my 'currently reading' list down to 3 which is my goal, but it may never get there knowing me. Anyway, have to add this to the pile because our local conference president is reading it and he is very motivated. From what I remember (just from peeking inside) it makes good points about the perspectives/vantages of those from different classes. We can learn to understand each other but usually only after we recognize/acknowledge the other's completely foreign experiential base. We only think we live in the same city.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Stacey

    This book and the author's accompanying theory regarding poverty and the cultures of classes in the United States is not only poorly researched and cited but academically and personally disturbing. It rationalizes the stereotyping (and generalizing) of people living in poverty by constructing a "culture of poverty" akin to the one rejected by American social scientists by the 1970s. Unfortunately, it seems to be taking the non-profit sector (at least in Wyoming) by storm, encouraging people to j This book and the author's accompanying theory regarding poverty and the cultures of classes in the United States is not only poorly researched and cited but academically and personally disturbing. It rationalizes the stereotyping (and generalizing) of people living in poverty by constructing a "culture of poverty" akin to the one rejected by American social scientists by the 1970s. Unfortunately, it seems to be taking the non-profit sector (at least in Wyoming) by storm, encouraging people to justify their prejudices and judgments by offering falsified explanations that completely disregard the degree of cultural and linguistic diversity that exists within all classes in this society.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Emilia P

    Imperfect but totally interesting and thought-provoking. As some have said, and as I, too, would say, the layout and the shaky researchedness of this does nothing in its favor -- secret: I sort of wrote it off to the sociological practice direction it was leaning in, but maybe that is unfair to that discipline? And possibly incorrect? Regardless, there was a lot to take from this, and a bit to leave -- I do really think there is something to the "hidden rules of social classes" -- in particular t Imperfect but totally interesting and thought-provoking. As some have said, and as I, too, would say, the layout and the shaky researchedness of this does nothing in its favor -- secret: I sort of wrote it off to the sociological practice direction it was leaning in, but maybe that is unfair to that discipline? And possibly incorrect? Regardless, there was a lot to take from this, and a bit to leave -- I do really think there is something to the "hidden rules of social classes" -- in particular the other-centeredness of life in poverty and the self-containedness of a middle class life, especially in the working world, where career advancement trumps just getting by. Obviously on both ends, these rules and codes exist and persist, for better and for worse. What I took away from this, if not what the authors intended, was the importance of meeting people where they are, with what they have, and what they value and work on goals from that. Beyond all the technical aspects of social services, that's a great thing to remember - on personal and institutional levels. It deserves further thought and definitely further reading, on my part.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Chuck Engelhardt

    I do believe this is an important book. I will admit that I was one who felt that many in generational poverty simply need to make better choices. As the book points out, that's not entirely wrong, but it is far more complicated than that. One of the reasons I felt justified in that position is because of the number of friends I have who have risen from underprivileged situations. As I read some of the case studies, I could see how many of the pieces came together in my friends lives that allowe I do believe this is an important book. I will admit that I was one who felt that many in generational poverty simply need to make better choices. As the book points out, that's not entirely wrong, but it is far more complicated than that. One of the reasons I felt justified in that position is because of the number of friends I have who have risen from underprivileged situations. As I read some of the case studies, I could see how many of the pieces came together in my friends lives that allowed their mobility. I found this very enlightening and recommend it for those who work with or minister to the poor. I do believe there is a western culture bend to it. Not sure how, say, an oriental study would compare. The book does read something like a text book, so expect that, and several tables are provided to organize the information. I found that helpful. I expect to refer back to this book on occasion.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sommer

    Unless you believe in generalizing an entire socioeconomic group, do not...I repeat, Do not read this book. Seriously, I can't believe someone published this book. It is a waste of time and the only reason I finished reading it is because I had to. Just don't do it. Unless you believe in generalizing an entire socioeconomic group, do not...I repeat, Do not read this book. Seriously, I can't believe someone published this book. It is a waste of time and the only reason I finished reading it is because I had to. Just don't do it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    John Igo

    I read this book because someone close to me really likes it... But this book was really bad. It was so bad that if not for that person loving it I would not have finished it. The book was half way like a workbook for social workers (worksheets, scorecards, etc) and halfway presenting a theory about poverty and how to get people out of it. I had a lot of problems with this book, but the biggest is that the author makes a ton of claims but provided almost Zero evidence. Most of the bibliography a I read this book because someone close to me really likes it... But this book was really bad. It was so bad that if not for that person loving it I would not have finished it. The book was half way like a workbook for social workers (worksheets, scorecards, etc) and halfway presenting a theory about poverty and how to get people out of it. I had a lot of problems with this book, but the biggest is that the author makes a ton of claims but provided almost Zero evidence. Most of the bibliography and notes was padded by citing the sources of various pithy quotes throughout the text. The theory of this book is that there are three classes and that one of the biggest challenges in moving from one class to another is being ignorant of the language and hidden rules of these classes. Proving that idea would easily be the topic of an entire book. The author doesn't prove it though, or even provide any but the scarcest evidence. The book continues by presenting a lot of "case studies" for the reader to apply the books theory to - which serve to use the readers own confirmation bias to get them to buy into the theory. And ways for social workers to implement this theory into their work. That's where the book really goes off the rails supporting various statements with anecdotes, stereotypes and all manner of other shitty logic. I would recommend this book to no one. In fact if someone I knew owned a copy, I'd recommend burning it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    sensational, over-generalized & under researched.

  9. 4 out of 5

    CTEP

    This book is required reading by all staff in the ELL/GED team at my site, Neighborhood House, as it is follow-up to a training that we attended last month. Bridges Out of Poverty is a controversial work that is designed to help human services professionals better assist clients who come from what Payne calls the 'culture of poverty'. It gives ideas on how to better support and understand people who have grown up in generational poverty, and how to partner with them in their transitions, such as This book is required reading by all staff in the ELL/GED team at my site, Neighborhood House, as it is follow-up to a training that we attended last month. Bridges Out of Poverty is a controversial work that is designed to help human services professionals better assist clients who come from what Payne calls the 'culture of poverty'. It gives ideas on how to better support and understand people who have grown up in generational poverty, and how to partner with them in their transitions, such as moving from welfare to work. Payne discusses how we can work more effectively with clients as individuals, agencies and communities. This book is relevant to my work at Neighborhood House, as almost all of my clients would be considered economically disadvantaged by US standards. As a CTEP member, my role is to help clients achieve life goals such as finding employment or a better job. Sometimes it is frustrating when clients don't keep appointments and have excuses such as some kind of drama happening to a cousin. Having been brought up in a lower middle class household where achievement and punctuality always 'trumped' family events, Payne's work taught me about the importance of relationship in the lives of people from poverty. After reading the book,I keep a lot of her advice in mind when events happen at my site that might otherwise make me feel overwhelmed. I would recommend this book to all AmeriCorps members. However, it's important to remember that Payne's book, though useful, is not immune to criticism. Payne is European American, and she tends to write more accurately about white poverty than about the Latino, Native or African-American experience. There are many online articles out there that provide critique of her work, accusing her of stereotyping the poor and using a 'deficit model' to describe them. If anyone else is interested in reading the book, I can forward you some critical articles to look at too. When first picking up the book ‘Bridges out of Poverty’ I was quite confronted with the content in the workbook. This tension was born out of my own understanding, as well as lack of understanding, of the implications of me and my family’s socio-economic status. Perhaps it because we have all been fed the same stale American dream tonic, leading us to believe we are all middle-class, and no how dare you call me poor! However, when describing language patterns, beliefs around money, familial structures, and even types of humor, it was quite clear that family more closely aligned with those living in poverty, than those in middle class. One of the tenants of the book is that “many children in poverty must function as their own parents…they parent themselves and others” [111]. While it was a block at first, it actually gave me incredible insight into my own upbringing, as well as my mom and dad’s origins, and so on through the family tree. It made me understand that I was proud in a way, seeing how far two Milwaukee immigrant families can go, and impacts made, with limited cash flow and cultural barriers. The book goes into the connections between poverty culture and how it is a breeding ground for addiction – a complex issues that I find hard to boil down to socio-economic status, but the book concludes “working-class amusement is always too much. It operates from an Overdose Aesthetic” [202]. Again, how much of addiction is ‘poverty culture’ and how much is the effects of fractured families, communities and societies? A larger structural issue to be sure, but again the book is adept at trying to ‘boil it all down’ to graspable concepts. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it falls short. I agree with the book that “the reality of poverty is the language of survival” and sometimes this survival mode clashes with the professional realm, a reality we see so often at Emerge. The book pulls from Stephen Covey’s notion of an emotional bank account, indicating energy deposits and withdrawals, again with the middle-class bank language. However it provided very tangible, practical ways to interact with ‘those in poverty’. One ‘deposit’ that I’ve observed in my service year is how far the appreciation for humor and individual personality go. While I personally believe this extends beyond those living in generational poverty, it helps with forging the initial relationship – seeing one where they are at. The book has an entire section devoted to improving internal processes, and concluding that ultimately it is not the funders or the governmental partnerships that matter most “the client must come first” [165]. I abide by this and am thankful for this inclusion. One issue I did have with this workbook was the assumption that everyone living in poverty ‘wants’ to be middle class, upper class. The entire premise of the book was strategizing and assisting with that bridge – out of poverty. I am not saying staying in poverty is the answer; rather, I think I am alluding to the fact that perhaps the middle class is an illusion and we should all be working toward another norm, one that isn’t apparent in our hyper-exploitative capitalist economy right now. The implications are dire, if we do not choose to find another alternative – middle class is not the answer. While I agree that there are problematic behaviors born out of living in crisis mode, I do not agree that the answer lies in saving more money, not sharing and getting a mortgage. I do believe that education, recognition of self and garnering professional skills are part of the equation in alleviating associated issues with striving to make ends meet. However, this book tends to leave out the systemic analysis of why poverty even exists in the first place! It also skims over race, ethnicity, religion, gender, age and other indicators of marginalization. This book assumes that the economy is working right now… that if we, as human service workers, ‘helped’ poor people learn how to talk ‘productively and professionally’ they could find a steady career, therefore transitioning into a middle-class livelihood and we would all be better off for it. I challenge that notion, for I believe our economy preys upon low-wage workers, particularly immigrants and people of color. Not only does this mechanism of progress exploit workers, but it harms the earth. Our economy does not serve any one but the elite, those in cahoots with military contracting, pharmaceuticals and petrochemical industries. Ultimately, though practical and useful on one end, this book can be compared to an idealistic white social worker’s notion of how to fix the problem. Yes, it has great insight but I feel that it is forgetting to understand the structural inequality that plagues communities; thereby, forcing people to respond in any way possible. If a community living next to a crude oil refinery, breathing in pet coke dust daily, abides by this advice, does it truly change the fact that they are being systematically unjustly exploited? If they change their language patterns does it change the fact that they breathe in toxic poison? That cancer rates are skyrocketing? That the jobs are limited by the industries that dominate the city? I think not. So while helpful, I personally require a more radical, compassionate rage-fueled volume in understanding poverty.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Paul Rasmussen

    Great overview of many differences in the core beliefs and “rules” that govern poverty, middle class, and wealthy cultures, with very practical applications to make social programs more effective. Some major takeaways: - Rules - an awareness of what rules govern success is critical. Without helping people to understand and live these, it’s difficult to see lasting change - Register - formal register of speaking and writing is critical for middle class success, but the poor don’t have access to th Great overview of many differences in the core beliefs and “rules” that govern poverty, middle class, and wealthy cultures, with very practical applications to make social programs more effective. Some major takeaways: - Rules - an awareness of what rules govern success is critical. Without helping people to understand and live these, it’s difficult to see lasting change - Register - formal register of speaking and writing is critical for middle class success, but the poor don’t have access to this. It must be taught through a mix of close contact and formal instruction, and lack of experience with this register can obscure people’s underlying capability - Relationships - people are the resources for the poor, so without relationships, change is difficult

  11. 4 out of 5

    Audri Gonzales

    Somewhat topical and it's now 20 years old, but I think still a valuable resource for anyone working with populations who are not from the social class they grew up in. Somewhat topical and it's now 20 years old, but I think still a valuable resource for anyone working with populations who are not from the social class they grew up in.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Brianna Brown

    This book really resonated with me as I found so many explanations for what I’m thinking, feeling and experiencing. I learned why it’s been so difficult for me to acclimate to middle class and the specific skills I have been working on for the past few years. It was so encouraging to finally have an answer for why I feel so out of place, without casting anyone in my life as a villain. Class distinction isn’t a topic spoken about often, so it was a wonderful relief to find so much information tha This book really resonated with me as I found so many explanations for what I’m thinking, feeling and experiencing. I learned why it’s been so difficult for me to acclimate to middle class and the specific skills I have been working on for the past few years. It was so encouraging to finally have an answer for why I feel so out of place, without casting anyone in my life as a villain. Class distinction isn’t a topic spoken about often, so it was a wonderful relief to find so much information that I have needed. It’s also helping me to be more patient with the people around me by bringing different social factors to light.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    I did the seminar that was based on this book, which motivated me to read the book. Since my work deals with those making their way out of poverty situations, I looked for -- and found -- good nuggets of information in understanding the mindset of those in poverty. It is a culture I am personally unfamiliar with. But knowing how best to help is essential. The nuggets were insightful, but I found the substance of the book lacking in: 1. Offering values. We can provide the "bridge" opportunities, b I did the seminar that was based on this book, which motivated me to read the book. Since my work deals with those making their way out of poverty situations, I looked for -- and found -- good nuggets of information in understanding the mindset of those in poverty. It is a culture I am personally unfamiliar with. But knowing how best to help is essential. The nuggets were insightful, but I found the substance of the book lacking in: 1. Offering values. We can provide the "bridge" opportunities, but we how does one know the best decision? 2. More than understanding socio-economic "class", the book almost perpetuated the existence of class, rather than as one human being communicating with another. 3. Responsibility for bad behavior tended to be excused as cultural. Doesn't one in generational poverty need to be taught positive behavior? The book is supposed to enforce a sterile perspective -- think of a government case worker in a social services office. Personally, I was disappointed in the book not bringing a sense of values for those who need them.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kayla Bennett

    Not going to lie, I do not like the us vs. them perspective that Ruby Payne uses throughout this book. However, I could see how the message within this book could be useful for the population of American's who have never experienced poverty OR even come into contact with individuals currently living in poverty. Not going to lie, I do not like the us vs. them perspective that Ruby Payne uses throughout this book. However, I could see how the message within this book could be useful for the population of American's who have never experienced poverty OR even come into contact with individuals currently living in poverty.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Shari

    I was first introduced to these mental mindsets of poverty, middle class and wealth at a conference over a year ago, but I️ finally finished reading the text this year. Mind. Blown. Google it and tell me what you think!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Krissy Anderson

    Good read I recommend this book for anyone who works with people. No matter what economic level you think you are in, this book has something for everyone!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    In my role as bishop of my local church congregation, I have many opportunities to care for the poor and needy. As I read the ideas and research in this book it opened my eyes to the hidden rules between the classes that I had never considered before. There is so much more to poverty than being without financial resources. After reading this book I have a better idea of what questions to ask to discover where the true needs are of the individual and develop a more tailored approach, rather than In my role as bishop of my local church congregation, I have many opportunities to care for the poor and needy. As I read the ideas and research in this book it opened my eyes to the hidden rules between the classes that I had never considered before. There is so much more to poverty than being without financial resources. After reading this book I have a better idea of what questions to ask to discover where the true needs are of the individual and develop a more tailored approach, rather than simply providing money or food. I came away from this book with a greater determination to reach our youth who may be growing up in a generational poverty situation. There are numerous case studies that reinforce how important it is to reach to the younger generation for them to have a chance of bridging from poverty to middle class before they get too comfortable with poverty. There is a consistent idea that there was someone early in their life who reached out and mentored them or modeled for them what a middle class life should look like. In some ways the hidden rules of the wealthy class aren't appealing to me in my middle age, and I'm guessing the rules of the middle class do not appeal to those who've been in poverty their whole lives either.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ethan

    A book that describes the reality of poverty and its attendant worldview lucidly. It helps for those in middle and wealthy classes understand why those in poverty think and act as they do. The book does not justify or condemn them, but strives to provide ways of understanding and cooperation to assist people in poverty get beyond their present circumstances. It takes one until the appendix, however, to see an appreciation for the "rules of poverty" as the means by which those in poverty have man A book that describes the reality of poverty and its attendant worldview lucidly. It helps for those in middle and wealthy classes understand why those in poverty think and act as they do. The book does not justify or condemn them, but strives to provide ways of understanding and cooperation to assist people in poverty get beyond their present circumstances. It takes one until the appendix, however, to see an appreciation for the "rules of poverty" as the means by which those in poverty have managed to survive, and the concept that the best way forward for those in poverty is to "add" to these rules those of the middle class to achieve. The work recognizes the need to cut off relationships in order to achieve, and gets a bit bloodless about it. Middle-class values are honored a bit too uncritically; there's much that the middle class could learn from the poor about the value of community and one another. Nevertheless, to understand more about the rules of poverty and the middle class, a good resource.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cathie

    Another Sunday school book. While it's really designed for people working in agencies and schools dealing with people from generational poverty it's very accessible. I think the most important point was that there are "hidden rules" for surviving in poverty, middle class, and wealth. As you grow up in that class you absorb the rules, but they are not always obvious to someone from another class. Work and school environments are set up with middle class rules, and often people from poverty are bla Another Sunday school book. While it's really designed for people working in agencies and schools dealing with people from generational poverty it's very accessible. I think the most important point was that there are "hidden rules" for surviving in poverty, middle class, and wealth. As you grow up in that class you absorb the rules, but they are not always obvious to someone from another class. Work and school environments are set up with middle class rules, and often people from poverty are blamed for not knowing and following the hidden rules of middle class. There are 15 chapters (some of them quite short), an appendix, research notes, and personal stories. It was an easy read and I learned a lot - it certainly gave me a different perspective on people's behavior and why some welfare organizations work better than others.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Will Payne

    This book is a strategy manual for development professionals, and in that it succeeds--it is written in the idiom of major welfare and development agencies, and could potentially be very useful in helping such an agency reconsider harmful processes within its overall framework. However, Payne/DeVol never challenge those broad industry frameworks. Therefore, the book retains many paternalistic assumptions that harm their overall message of empathic care and respect. There is also no analysis of p This book is a strategy manual for development professionals, and in that it succeeds--it is written in the idiom of major welfare and development agencies, and could potentially be very useful in helping such an agency reconsider harmful processes within its overall framework. However, Payne/DeVol never challenge those broad industry frameworks. Therefore, the book retains many paternalistic assumptions that harm their overall message of empathic care and respect. There is also no analysis of poverty as a systemic problem, a major negative in a book which addresses the employees of systems. What is present in this book is good, but it needs to go further.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Aimee

    Clear information, good examples, and strategies for being able to bridge the gap between those in poverty culture and middle-class culture make this book a worthwhile read. There is so much to digest that it can, at times, seem overwhelming. The overarching message comes through loud and clear: often those trying to help people in poverty and those trying to raise themselves out of poverty are speaking two different languages. There is a need to teach these hidden rules to both groups in order Clear information, good examples, and strategies for being able to bridge the gap between those in poverty culture and middle-class culture make this book a worthwhile read. There is so much to digest that it can, at times, seem overwhelming. The overarching message comes through loud and clear: often those trying to help people in poverty and those trying to raise themselves out of poverty are speaking two different languages. There is a need to teach these hidden rules to both groups in order for them to work effectively together. I found this very interesting and accurate based on some of my own interactions and observations.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Gabrielle Engle

    I appreciate the language of the book that gives handlebars to various dynamics that define poverty. However the tension resides in the fact that the author believes that all in poverty should move to middle-class living. This very American-centric view is the crux of why community development is in many ways failing. While I don’t argue for individuals to stay in poverty, there’s more nuance to someone’s overall freedom and well being than simply being able to live and abide by middle class rul I appreciate the language of the book that gives handlebars to various dynamics that define poverty. However the tension resides in the fact that the author believes that all in poverty should move to middle-class living. This very American-centric view is the crux of why community development is in many ways failing. While I don’t argue for individuals to stay in poverty, there’s more nuance to someone’s overall freedom and well being than simply being able to live and abide by middle class rules.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Billy Osei

    One of the best book I have read on the culture of poverty. I personally identified with a lot of the survival skills needed to carry oneself living in poverty and the "hidden rules" and resources needed to cross that line. I wish the assertions were more backed up by research but it it has paved a starting ground for me. I may just create a PP presentation on some of the educational pieces. Definitely a book I'd want on my shelf for reference. One of the best book I have read on the culture of poverty. I personally identified with a lot of the survival skills needed to carry oneself living in poverty and the "hidden rules" and resources needed to cross that line. I wish the assertions were more backed up by research but it it has paved a starting ground for me. I may just create a PP presentation on some of the educational pieces. Definitely a book I'd want on my shelf for reference.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Justine Bell

    I was taking to a friend in town who works with people in Poverty, and she recommended this book to me. I loved it. The perspectives that it gave me have re-shaped the way that I look at the world and move forward within it. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to start learning about poverty and how to start addressing it.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Paula

    Read this for work. It was supposed to help us better understand poverty and the effects it has on people. I feel as if the ideas presented are few and simplistic. They lump all poor people, all middle class people, and all rich people into their category and give characteristics of each class. It is too simplistic to be truly useful.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Martha Owen

    I didn't learn anything from this book. It was recommend for me to read since we're going to hear one of the authors speak about this book. I may be well educated but this book was way over my head and referred to too many sources. I didn't learn anything from this book. It was recommend for me to read since we're going to hear one of the authors speak about this book. I may be well educated but this book was way over my head and referred to too many sources.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    A guide for how to think about facilitating a transition from intergenerational poverty to the middle class. While structured as a how-to for people working in social services, there are a lot of key insights for anyone thinking about policy and processes to bring people out of poverty.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Pennington

    Truly a classic as far as I am conserved. Life changing outlook on life. Second time I have read this book which is a true rarity for me. I have recommended this book to countless numbers of people and will continue to do so.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Catalano

    The author offers insights and approaches to understanding effective methods to support the transition out of poverty. The author will make you pause and reflect on your own experiences and interactions. How will you shift your approach with the new insights?

  30. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    The first 11 chapters of this book should be required reading for employers of hourly workers. Excellent book on how to support people working to better their future.

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