Introducing P.O.C. and F.A.C.T
At the Stanley Terrace Apartment community, a group of active, concerned residents have joined efforts to establish the P.O.C. (Pride in Ourselves and our Community) Resident Council. The role of a Resident Council is to improve the quality of life and satisfaction of residents and participate in self-help initiatives to enable residents to create a positive living environment for families living in public housing. Resident councils actively participate through a working partnership with Housing Authorities to advise and assist in all aspects of public housing operations. The newly created P.O.C. held their first resident event in August 2008, a Back to School Bash held at adjacent Westside Park. P.O.C. received not only enough donations to distribute backpacks containing much needed school supplies to the children at Stanley Terrace who participated, but they were also able to donate backpacks to children in the community. To raise funds for future events P.O.C. held a yard sale in November, 2008 and have several other fundraising events planned. P.O.C. plans on using funds raised to enhance the lives of Stanley Terrace residents. The members of P.O.C. are commended for attending formal training in which they were taught skills necessary to keep a successful resident council up and running. Another role P.O.C. will play at the DBHA is to process applications for the CAMEY (Community Advocating, Mentoring and Educating Youth) after school program. Since participation in the program requires working and/or student parents to complete a dedicated amount of service hours, P.O.C. will assist the DBHA in the participant selection process and monitor service hour completion requirements.
The residents at the Palms of Deerfield apartments have forever been a group that takes care and watches out for one another, especially during times of need. So, it only follows that the residents recently created the F.A.C.T. (Forming a Stronger Community Together) resident council. The purpose of F.A.C.T. is to improve the quality of life for the residents of the Palms of Deerfield apartments, through representation, recreational activities and fostering community involvement. F.A.C.T. has established several committees designed to get residents out of their apartments where they can interact with other residents, become more active and explore interests. The successful Arts & Crafts Committee not only meets once a week to create new projects, but they also sell their crafts and all proceeds go back to the resident council for further functions. The Health, Nutrition & Exercise Committee conducts weekly exercise classes for residents and plans on bringing in resources from the community with the focus of bettering the health of residents. They currently provide periodic weekend breakfasts, offering residents a hot, nutritious breakfast in an atmosphere of fellowship and comradery. F.A.C.T. has additionally established a Gardening Committee, an Education & Computer Skills Committee and a Sick Committee, which provides well wishes and support for residents with health issues. The F.A.C.T. Executive Committee meets once a month and a general resident meeting is held quarterly. All residents at the Palms of Deerfield are welcome to participate in this resident council and are encouraged to come out for all functions and events. Future events at the Palms of Deerfield will include a Spring Olympics, a Thanksgiving Celebration and the performance of a Soul Opera at the annual holiday party with an all resident cast.
Intriguing Lives, Past & Present
Sit down and talk with a senior and you will discover lives filled with interesting experiences, accomplishments and adventures. Sit down and talk with seniors and you will also discover that many also still lead active, vibrant and fulfilling lives.
So it is at the Palms of Deerfield Apartments. The Deerfield Beach Housing Authority will be spotlighting some resident seniors who deserve recognition for what they have done and what they continue to do.
Dorothy Gregory realized a need in her community, took it upon herself personally to do something about it and to this day remains steadfast in her efforts. Dorothy became involved in the Jail and Prison Ministry over twenty years ago when she saw drugs take over entire communities and watched them destroy so many people’s lives. Her strong faith lead her to start working directly on the streets of her community in order to make an impact on the problem.
Dorothy headed a calling to minister to those who are hurting and became a licensed minister. She received her Calling & Ministry Studies Training & Program Assessment for Ministry in 2008. Prior to that, she gave her time as a volunteer Chaplain at the Broward Correctional Facility in Pembroke Pines for three years. At the Broward Correctional Facility she counseled inmates, prayed with them and for them and visited inmates that were hospitalized. Dorothy was instrumental in obtaining assistance from faith based organizations in order to provide funds for indigent inmate’s commissary accounts. Commissary accounts allow inmates to purchase personal items such as hygiene products, clothing and reading materials.
She currently serves as the Jail Ministry Coordinator for the Cathedral Church of God in Deerfield Beach. Her mission as Jail Ministry Coordinator involves counseling inmates as well as their families, going above and beyond by coordinating services and support for the families of inmates and training others in the Jail and Prison Ministry through training workshops.
Her vision for the Cathedral Church of God’s Jail and Prison Ministry program is the creation of a Christian transitional housing program for ex-offenders. She envisions a program that goes beyond providing just a place to live, but also teaches ex-offenders the life skills they need to survive successfully outside of prison. Numerous ex-offenders could make use of such a supportive program.
Dorothy additionally gives to the community through the coordination of the Jingle Tree program, which brings holiday gifts to needy children over the holidays. 2008 saw the distribution of over 200 gifts for local children in need, and 2009 will include the distribution of gift cards for older children and teens. She assists in the coordination of the Cathedral Church of God’s Thanksgiving Feast which feeds hundreds over the Thanksgiving Holiday.
Dorothy is an active member of the FACT Resident Council at the Palms of Deerfield Development and chairs the FACT Arts and Crafts Committee. The Arts and Crafts group meets weekly to produce many treasures, which are sold to generate revenue for the Resident Council. In a short amount of time, the group has raised over $200. Dorothy provides instruction and guidance for other residents in the Arts and Crafts group. You can also see Dorothy assisting with Thursday Food Distribution in the Community Room and assisting with FACT Breakfasts and Special Events.
The Palms of Deerfield is fortunate to have such a caring, dedicated and giving resident as Dorothy. Members of the Community who are interested in participating in the Jail and Prison Ministry Program may call Dorothy Gregory at 954-531-1132.
Islah Aziz has had a lifelong love and dedication for many things, including the theatre, children, her community and her Muslim faith. Islah became active in the theatre back in the 1970’s after moving to New York from her birthplace in Washington, D.C. Professionally trained in the theatre, she not only worked as a professional stage manager, she also had professional acting roles in the motion pictures, Sweet Surrender starring Sherry Belafonte and Angel City starring Paul Winfield, Ralph Waite and Jennifer Jason Leigh. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Islah obtained an Associate in Arts Degree in Childhood Development, and an Associate in Arts Degree in Business. She continued to express her love for the theatre through teaching acting, dance and stage production to children. Islah has written and starred in several plays for the Palm Beach County and Broward County Public Schools, churches and community centers throughout South Florida. Her current production (pictured above) is as Bandana Mammy, the true story of an antebellum slave and cook for Colonel Worth, during the Seminole War of 1842, will be presented to the student body of Deerfield Beach Middle School. Over the years, Islah has also collaborated with fellow seniors at the Palms of Deerfield Apartments to direct and co-star in several productions. She is currently putting together ideas for a Holiday production that would include resident actors.
An extremely creative individual, Islah enjoys writing and producing Soul Operas, which are plays that celebrate the beauty, joy and essence of life. A majority of Islah’s time over the past few years has been as Directress for The Theatre of Creative Consciousness, a non-profit theatre group established by Islah that will be holding a performance of
Pictured in costume as latest character, Bandana Mammy!
A Devestating Impact at the Lou Rawls Theatre of the Performing Arts.
Aside from her creative endeavors, Islah serves as volunteer President of the Palms of Deerfield Beach resident council known as FACT (Forming a Community Together). Islah and her fellow FACT members are dedicated to enhancing the lives of the Palms of Deerfield residents through supportive outreach, recreation and group activities.
Islah also serves as volunteer Secretary for the International League of Muslim Women, which has chapters in multiple countries. She is able to accomplish this feat, among all her other activities, through her excellent computer skills and use of the Internet.
Islah is to be commended for not only her energy level but the fact that she selflessly gives so much to make other’s lives better. She is a definite asset to her community.