Faith-based organizations serve as the backbone of the emergency shelter system in this country – operating at a minimum nearly 30 percent of emergency shelter beds for families and single adults at the national level. They play a critical role in delivering services to people in crisis and significantly fewer households experiencing homelessness would be served and more would remain in crisis without them. Homelessness will not be ended without faith-based organizations.
To examine the unique contribution of faith-based organizations to homeless services and present the perspectives of faith-based organizations on the most pressing gaps in resources and efforts needed to end homelessness, their role in local governance and systemic planning, and how a national shift to a Housing First philosophy has impacted their work, the National Alliance to End Homelessness examined housing inventory data and interviewed and/or surveyed over 160 faith-based organizations. Here is what was learned.