Housing a Homeless Shelter: A Case Study in Community Deliberation


  • Amie Thurber Vanderbilt University


Community Practice, Conflict Resolution


Among the core competencies of macro practitioners are the skills to design, implement and evaluate conflict resolution processes. Drawing upon theories of deliberative democracy, restorative justice and the Just Practice framework, this paper explores a process of deliberation which engaged 200 community members in the controversial siting of a homeless shelter. This case study is both descriptive and reflective: by offering an in-depth description of the process and a reflection on the guiding values, this paper provides critical insight into best practices in – and limitations of – using deliberation to resolve divisive community issues.

Author Biography

Amie Thurber, Vanderbilt University

Amie Thurber’s research, practice and teaching interests involve reducing social inequality in neighborhoods, and developing best practices for community-engaged teaching and research. Amie is currently a doctoral candidate in Vanderbilt University’s Community Research and Action program.




How to Cite

Thurber, A. (2017). Housing a Homeless Shelter: A Case Study in Community Deliberation. Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping, 22(2), 28–38. Retrieved from https://reflectionsnarrativesofprofessionalhelping.org/index.php/Reflections/article/view/1475