How Neighborhoods Make Us Sick is an excellent and desperately needed addition to the nursing literature on community and social justice. Impressive for its narrative style that provides accessibility, relevance, and a guide for praxis, Veronica Squires and Breanna Lathrop detail their journeys and desires to help the most vulnerable in society and offer us a glimpse into the transformation of mere practice into praxis—practice that is intentionally aimed at social justice goals. Their pathways to praxis are substantiated by their poignant and pragmatic accounts of emerging awareness, deep self-reflection, risk taking, choosing change, and taking action to transcend present circumstances for both their clients and themselves. A mandatory book for current times as nurses expand their scope and locus of practice into the community. How Neighborhoods Make Us Sick is an amazing example of emancipatory nursing. It will transfix and engage any health care provider seeking to reduce suffering by uncovering and challenging systemic barriers to better society and quality of life through true praxis.”

Paula N. Kagan, associate professor, DePaul University, lead author, Philosophies and Practices of Emancipatory Nursing: Social Justice as Praxis

How Neighborhoods Make Us Sick was a disturbing read because in its pages I saw descriptions of where my two young-adult, adopted, biracial sons potentially would be if they did not have the safety net of financially secure parents behind them. The authors are realistic about the complexity of the problems that those with limited resources face. They avoid simplistic answers while offering possible solutions for greater overall health. Maybe there is hope after all.”

Heather Davediuk Gingrich, professor of counseling at Denver Seminary, coeditor of Treating Trauma in Christian Counseling

“Through compelling stories, this eye-opening book illuminates the inverse relationship between poverty and health of all kinds. It acknowledges both the complexities and hard realities in addressing needs that often feel overwhelming. And ultimately, it points to hopeful strategies that flow from taking ownership of both the problem and the solution.”

Amy Simpson, author of Troubled Minds

“At a time where words like poverty, injustice, mental health issues, trauma, and the like have become familiar to our common justice narrative, we are in need of a deeper dive into how these systemic barriers truly impact communities. Veronica and Breanna have generously invited us into their realm by sharing their experiences and learned expertise in an effort to help illuminate the need for deeper awareness and collective action toward the flourishing of poor communities.”

Michelle Ferrigno Warren, advocacy and strategic engagement director of the CCDA, author of The Power of Proximity

“In my thirty years of working in health nonprofits, I’ve never come across a book that puts a real face on the socioeconomic and geographic disparities that truly exist in health care. I recommend this book to anyone interested in the stark realities of providing health services to vulnerable populations from two compassionate, remarkable women working and living in the trenches, while providing a road map to community wellness.”

Donna Looper, executive director of Georgia Charitable Care Network Inc.

“Framed expertly in terms of the macrolevel social determinants of health and the gap in life expectancy between poor neighborhoods and wealthier ones, this heartfelt first-person account by two staff members of Atlanta’s Good Samaritan Health Center makes vivid the microlevel daily pain and struggles of those who live in poverty. It also outlines an activist, social justice approach to making the changes that have to be made with and by community members, in order for neighborhoods to produce health, and not harm, to their residents.”

Ellen Idler, director of the Religion and Public Health Collaborative, Emory University