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Interdenominational Theology Center (ITC)

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The writing of this dissertation was an effort to address the issue of providing assistance to those persons who have been diagnosed with a chronic mental illness and were also experiencing homelessness. The author addresses several questions surrounding this issue. Ultimately, it was the desire of this writer to develop a Safe Haven program for this population that would create a residential service center. At this writing, there is not such a program in the State of Georgia. Among the many questions surrounding this issue that this writer addressed was: What is the history behind this problem? How did so many people in this targeted population become homeless? Is there a possible solution? What does the bible have to say regarding this issue and what if anything can the Faith community do to intervene and render assistance to this population? The questions were challenging. The intent of this dissertation was to provide some answers and design a program that could be replicated by any congregation that believed they were called to such a mission.

The project consisted often men who were homeless and had a diagnosis of achronic mental illness. The period of time these men were observed was a minimum of six months. The staff consisted of a director of counseling who is a licensed master of social work degree holder who specialized in psychotherapy; there were case managers; peer specialist; residential support staff; night managers and a dietician.The program was designed to include volunteerism from the members of the sponsoring congregation. Funding was sought through the support of the sponsoring church as well as other churches and individuals. The bulk of the funding however was provided by government sources. The overall hypothesis was that if given adequate support and assistance, those persons targeted by this effort could become stabilized, non-symptomatic and able to live in permanent housing with the necessary supportive services

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