Bridges Out of Poverty
In 1995, Dr Ruby Payne published 'A Framework for Understanding Poverty'. 20 years and over 1.5 million copies later the latest 5th edition has won awards and still sells well.
Although based on her research in the USA and Haiti, the insights still are very relevant in the UK.
If we define poverty as an absence of resources (which is more than money), the book's basic premise is that the middle-class understandings of those who work with children and adults in poverty are often ill-suited for connecting with and helping people build up resources and rise out of poverty due to class, hidden rules, experience, etc.
Dr Payne with others then published a book 'Bridges Out of Poverty: Strategies for Professionals and Communities' which helps people put the findings of Framework into practice.
It has generated Bridges Out of Poverty community support programmes across the USA in 370 locations - many of them churches.
For people in poverty, these centres run a 'Getting Ahead' programme. This supports individuals in poverty to build their own resources for a better life. Here the concepts of Bridges Out of Poverty are formatted in a way where groups can examine the impact of poverty on themselves and their communities. This will support individuals to create their own plan for stability and help increase the likelihood of a movement from welfare to work. This is a 9 week programme of groups of between ten and twelve individuals in poverty with a two year post-program support group.
In the book Bridges Out of Poverty, there are case studies, detailed analysis, helpful charts and exercises, and specific solutions you and your church can implement to:
Redesign programmes to better serve people you work with
Build skill sets for leaders and volunteers
Increase the likelihood of people moving out of poverty
Increase understanding of challenges and strengths of people in poverty
This video of various people involved in Bridges Out of Poverty/Getting Ahead programmes in the USA gives you a flavour:
There is a branch of Bridges Out of Poverty in Glasgow that runs training workshops. Here is a pdf of the workshop overview.
There is a free study guide here so you can taste and see.
Something to look into?
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