Date of Award
University or Center
Interdenominational Theology Center (ITC)
Historically, public housing has existed in a state of ambivalence, particularly since its acceptance of minority fami1ies in the early forties. Residents of public housing have found themselves locked in to a dependency syndrome that is most difficult to overcome. Public housing, however, has become increasingly mismanaged and most properties are improperly cared for and managed. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development ( H U D ) presently operates under attack from the current administration. Budgets have been cut across the board at every Public Housing Authority in America. (see Appendix I11) The future of public housing looks bleak to say the least . Many residents have shifted from being welfare cases to "working poor" persons that need subsidy in order to exist a t a minimal level of existence. Federal rules and guide1 ines impinge upon the "pub1ic wards" of society in such a devastating manner that many of these persons lives are impacted with extreme daily coping crises : child abuse, battered wives, aging , black on black crime, drugs, and alcoho1ism. The public housing residents contend that these dilemmas create for them unnecessary stress within the community, and are usually generated from forces outside the community ( i .e., drug pushers, management, etc.) These conditions, they purport, also imping upon their spiritual, sociological, political, psychological, and economical 1ife, thereby preventing them from being viable entities within the family and community setting.Thus, this project dissertation's purpose was to identify what specifically the Boatrock Public Housing community's residents viewed as their most pressing need(s) and thereafter provide possible support systems that would meet those need(s). A sel freporting survey questionnaire was the methodology employed to accomplish this goal. This was done by uti1izing a door- to-door, one-on-one distribution process. The questionnaire was distributed by the writer and other co-professionals of the "care-giving " community, who waited for the selected respondents to complete the questionnaire. Afterwards, the questionnaire's information was analyzed by the writer and distributors. This information revealed that the participating residents considered a pastoral care supportsystem as a basic need that would assist them in coping with their stress-filled life style. As a consequence of these findings, this project dissertation proposed a chaplaincy model of ministry for the Boatrock community that utilizes pastoral care as a rehabilitative resource. The project also focused on assisting the residents in establishing an independent and interdependent 1ifestyle. Historically, the black community has had pastoral care support systems in i t s midst. Unfortunately for Boatrock, this has n o t been the case. Hence, the need for pastoral care, as a support system, was essential to the development of independence for Boatrock's residents. Ltis in keeping with the African-American re1igious tradition, wherein the church has been the guider and sustainer of the rural and small town communities during slavery, reconstruction, and the civilrights movement; therefore, symbolically, the Church ought to provide a similar pastoral care support system to the Boatrock community. Finally, the residents of the community were found to be willing to assume some responsibility for themselves . Although their circumstances seemed insurmountable, iirresponsi bl e behavior was found, to a large degree, to be due to the lack of an adequate pastoral care support system. So, if the people of Boatrock expected to receive independence from the oppressive forces of management, then, they had to be willing to assume some responsibility for instituting and developing a process by which that independence could occur. Thus, it was the author's hope that by joining forces with both the church and state , Boatrock could achieve its goal of an independent pastoral care support sys tem through a well developed and adequately functioning chaplaincy model of ministry.
Moore, Harold E. Sr, "A chaplaincy model of ministry in public housing: the boatrock community of Fulton county" (1986). ETD Collection for Robert W. Woodruff Library, Atlanta University Center. Paper 194.