A specially designed course, (639 Policy Advocacy and Social Change), led by Professor Renee Smith-Maddox, allows master’s level social workers to learn the theory and practice of policy development through the lens of homelessness. As Smith-Maddox has emphasized, there is an intersection with homelessness and housing for every social problem or special population that students might care about. A group of students who were all veterans came together during spring semester 2020 to focus on veteran homelessness. At least one of their members had personal experience and the team wanted to change policy that could improve outcomes for at risk or homeless veterans. A recent interview with Professor Smith-Maddox and 2 members of the student team. Justin Lee and Gregory James, demonstrates the value and impact of this course.
For more information on the theory and implementation of this course, please see: Renée Smith-Maddox, Lauren E. Brown, Stacy Kratz & Richard Newmyer (2020): Developing a Policy Advocacy Practice for Preventing and Ending Homelessness, Journal of Social Work Education. 10437797.2020.1723761