Transforming Story of Dwelling House Savings and Loan - A Pittsburgh Bank’s Fight Against Urban Poverty

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Dwelling House is a savings-and-loan bank located in the inner city of Pittsburgh, called the Hill. This study chronicles its forty-year fight on behalf of Hill residents and others to increase home ownership and reverse urban decay and crime. Dwelling House shows how the marriage of ethical principles with a more holistic social philosophy can deeply transform urban America.


“Professor Robert Wauzzinski makes a lasting contribution to the growing social debate, started by President Bush, of how faith-based ministries successfully address urban poverty. This is a provocative, timely book…..Eight years of thorough research and a clear yet evocative writing style signal success for this work and its arguments….Wauzzinski powerfully and trenchantly shows how Dwelling House’s strategy of enabling home ownership successfully overturns the forces that cause urban poverty…. They significantly add to our understanding of how to recharge our American experience by mixing compassion with hardheaded realism. I highly recommend that any thoughtful person willing to wrestle with meaty problems challenging our democracy’s future read this book. It is a must.” – Russell B. Pulliam, Associate Editor, Indianapolis Star; director, Pulliam Fellowships.

“…Wauzzinski’s book provides us with a vivid demonstration for why innovative scholarship must be both relevant and academically engaged, in this case in philosophy and religion. While interdisciplinary in design, the work is cohesive and focused nevertheless…..Wauzzinski painstakingly and thoroughly shows us in the first six chapters how the strategy of one bank can successfully address the forces that cause urban poverty. He writes with courage yet nuance. In the last chapter the genius of the work becomes even more clear. He uses the highlights of the story to press an infant discipline into service – the philosophy of economics…..This book cogently shows us how a bank can help foster an increasing sense of personal and social responsibility and thereby begin to set in motion healing forces that act like balm for urban America. I highly recommend the reading of this book.” – David B. Annis, Chair and Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Ball State University

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
Foreword; Introduction
· You Can Take It To The Bank
· A “City” in the Hill
· A Family at the Heart
· Unity of Purpose, Diversity of Background
· Dwelling House and Money
· Agents of Reconciliation
· Dwelling House and the Study of Economics
· Conclusion; Afterword
Bibliography; Index

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