Bridging the Gap Between Micro and Macro Practice to Address Homelessness in the U.S.-Mexico Border Region: Implications for Practitioners and Community Stakeholders

  • Eva M. Moya The University of Texas at El Paso
  • Silvia Maria Chavez-Baray Department of Social Work College of Health Sciences The University of Texas at El Paso
  • Omar Martinez School of Social Work, College of Public Health, Temple University
  • Brian Mattera School of Social WorkCollege of Public HealthTemple University
  • Courtney Adcox The Opportunity Center for the Homelessness

Abstract

Research and scholarship efforts continue to promote the integration of micro and macro practice in social work practice and education. Despite this, scholarship has documented persistent challenges in the fluid integration between the domains of micro-level service provision and macro-level social change efforts in practice and academic programs. This paper outlines a successful bridge between the micro-macro divide in the form of community-engaged practice to address homelessness and social work education in the U.S.-Mexico border region. MSW students enrolled in a macro-level course at the University of Texas at El Paso’s College of Health Sciences successfully partnered with the Opportunity Center for the Homeless, a grassroots community based organization serving individuals experiencing homelessness. The narrative describes how students were effectively able to apply both micro- and macro-level skills learned in the classroom to an experiential learning environment while providing much-needed assistance to an underfunded community-based organization. A set of challenges and recommendations are also discussed. Research initiatives are needed to evaluate and test clinical and community work initiatives, including the use of photovoice methodology to address homelessness, while being responsive to community needs and challenges.

Author Biographies

Eva M. Moya, The University of Texas at El Paso

Associate Dean of the College of Health Sciences

Associate Professor Department of Social Work

The University of Texas at El Paso.

Silvia Maria Chavez-Baray, Department of Social Work College of Health Sciences The University of Texas at El Paso

Lecturer and Post Doc

Department of Social Work

College of Health Sciences

The University of Texas at El Paso

Omar Martinez, School of Social Work, College of Public Health, Temple University

Assistant Professor
School of Social Work

College of Public Health

Temple University

Brian Mattera, School of Social WorkCollege of Public HealthTemple University

Research Assistant

School of Social Work

College of Public Health

Temple University

Courtney Adcox, The Opportunity Center for the Homelessness

Mental Health Program Developer

Opportunity Center for the Homeless

Published
2018-04-24
How to Cite
MOYA, Eva M. et al. Bridging the Gap Between Micro and Macro Practice to Address Homelessness in the U.S.-Mexico Border Region: Implications for Practitioners and Community Stakeholders. Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping, [S.l.], v. 24, n. 1, p. 102-118, apr. 2018. ISSN 1080-0220. Available at: <https://reflectionsnarrativesofprofessionalhelping.org/index.php/Reflections/article/view/1510>. Date accessed: 22 july 2018.

Keywords

Homelessness; macro practice; U.S.-Mexico Border; community-engagement