This paper presents a series of propositions for the practice of group work and the development of community-based interventions derived from a combined strengths based/feminist perspective in working with the “street” population. These include: (1) development of ongoing groups based on incorporating and utilizing individual strengths; (2) development of a communal identity through genuine power-sharing within the agency; (3) commitment to ongoing relationships rather than following specific participation requirements; (4) focus on community membership rather than on achieving outcomes; and (5) focus not only on the individual, but also on the political ramifications of group and community membership. Five practice principles are derived from these propositions: (a) workers question worker privilege and strive to eliminate traditional barriers; (b) workers participate as members, not necessarily as leaders; (c) workers avoid enabling helplessness; (d) workers strive for non- judgmental attitudes toward individual and reference group social constructs; and (e) agencies pursue a genuine commitment to a philosophy of “putting themselves out of the homelessness business.” Illustrative examples from the authors’ experiences applying these principles to the street population are presented.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)