Join us in celebrating the contributions of Terie Dreussi-Smith and Phil DeVol in the poverty reduction and community sustainability fields. 

Phil and Terie co-authored, with Ruby Payne, Bridges Out of Poverty in 1999, with the idea that the concepts from A Framework for Understanding Poverty worked in the drug addiction field.

Bridges Out of Poverty was born. 

Click here to leave a tribute for Terie Dreussi-Smith.

Click here to leave a tribute for Phil DeVol.

Terie’s contributions to Bridges carried her across the country to deliver workshops and certification trainings focused on the individual and institutional lens. Her work helped many organizations create needed changes to build on the lives of those living in poverty and instability.

Terie went on to co-author Bridges to Health and Healthcare and work with many health-care professionals to change the way they support patients and clients living in daily instability.

Phil recognized early on that Bridges spoke to professionals about poverty. Phil gathered a group of 12 people living in poverty to create what we know as Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World and other iterations of that work: Getting Ahead While Getting Out, Getting Ahead in the Workplace, Getting Ahead ACEs, and Investigations into Economic Class in America. This body of work has contributed to the “staying ahead” process of countless individuals, nationally and internationally.

As Phil continued to work with communities on economic development and stability, so did his writing. Phil is the author of Bridges to Sustainable Communities and co-author of Bridges Across Every Divide.

Now it is time for Phil and Terie to step into their retirement.

We won’t let them go quickly, and we will continue to tap their expertise.

In honor of their extraordinary contribution to the field of building the resources of individuals, organizations, and communities, while also shifting policy, we ask you to share your thankfulness with Terie and Phil.

You can do this in two ways. Mail a card in care of Phil DeVol or Terie Dreussi-Smith to aha! Process, PO Box 727, Highlands, TX 77562. We will make sure these cards are forwarded to each of them. Or you may send a greeting to Phil or Terie by simply clicking on their names. This will link you to a page of celebration where you can leave your thoughts, best memory, photo, your favorite piece of Bridges Out of Poverty, etc.

Join us as we celebrate the contribution Terie and Phil brought to the work of Bridges Out of Poverty. We know this work is now carried by each community that has innovated and adapted Bridges to their community sustainability efforts. Together, we continue moving forward for the sake of our communities in this moment and in the future.


Ruby K. Payne