A Public Charity
Religion and Social Welfare in Indianapolis, 1929-2002
Publication Year: 2004
Published by: Indiana University Press
Table of Contents
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After completing my Ph.D. in 1998, I was invited to join the Polis Center at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, where the research and writing of this book occurred. The Polis Center gave me time and access to resources. I am truly grateful. The support of the center’s director, David Bodenhamer, was especially important to me as I began my career...
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In 1938, a girl pregnant with her first child arrived at Indianapolis’s Suemma Coleman Home for unmarried mothers. When the women running the home learned that the girl was Catholic, they quickly contacted St. Elizabeth’s Home, the city’s Catholic home for unwed mothers. Although the Suemma Coleman Home was not an official Protestant institution, the city’s social workers had long accepted...
I. Catholic Charities and the Making of the Welfare State
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In the spring of 1935, Bishop Joseph E. Ritter invited Weltha Kelley, a social work professor from Saint Louis University, to conduct a formal evaluation of the services offered by Catholic Charities of Indianapolis. After interviewing the men and women who worked for Catholic Charities and visiting other private and public social welfare agencies, she concluded, ‘‘social work in Indianapolis follows sectarian lines.’1 In an interview...
II. A City of Families: Social Welfare and Postwar Prosperity
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In its 1957 Annual Report, the Family Service Association (FSA), Indianapolis’s largest private nonsectarian social welfare agency, highlighted one of the families that the agency’s social workers had served the previous year: a married couple that ‘‘lived in a fashionable neighborhood’’ but ‘‘needed help with understanding and...
III. Rediscovering Poverty, Redefining Community: Religion, the Civil Rights Movement, and the War on Poverty
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In the summer of 1965, the executive committee of Community Action Against Poverty (CAAP) decided to establish Indianapolis’s first federally funded neighborhood center (called community action agencies in most cities) at St. Rita’s Catholic Church, an African American church located in Martindale, one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods. In the days that followed...
IV. ‘‘Beyond Religious Boundaries’’: Urban Ministry and Social Order
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Reflecting on the rise of urban ministries in Indianapolis during the 1960s and early 1970s, a reporter for the Indianapolis News observed, ‘‘There was a time when a church’s charity work was done across town, in a place few of the congregations ever saw. Those...
V. ‘‘One Soul at a Time’’: Welfare Reform and Faith-Based Organizations
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When Stephen Goldsmith became the mayor of Indianapolis in 1992, he promised to increase the role of the private sector in providing city services and thus to ‘‘reinvent government.’’ Motivated by the belief that ‘‘public resources foster local solutions best when the programs use market mechanisms,’’ Goldsmith, during his eight years in office, increased...
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Page Count: 192
Illustrations: 1 index
Publication Year: 2004
Series Title: Polis Center Series on Religion and Urban Culture