Addressing Root Causes of Homelessness


Key Findings of the Baylor-AGRM Study

Faith-based organizations (FBOs) are at the forefront of addressing root causes of homelessness, providing not only the majority of emergency shelter beds, but innovating long-term solutions, a new study by the Baylor University Institute for Studies of Religion concludes. The study, titled Assessing the Faith-Based Response to Homelessness in America, is part of a growing body of research examining the socio-economic impact of FBOs on homelessness in 11 sample cities across the United States—all cities where ARGM-member missions participated in the study and play a significant role in addressing homelessness. 

According to the study, FBOs provide 58 percent of emergency shelter beds in the 11 sample cities, in addition to providing a suite of essential services necessary for long-term recovery and independence; these include education, healthcare, job training and addiction recovery, among others. 

The study estimates that FBOs create $8.27 in taxpayer savings for every $1 invested by the government. It further shows an estimated $119 million in tax savings in the 11 cities during the three years following implementation of faith-based Residential Recovery and Job Readiness programs. These long-view programs are an area where FBOs are “at the forefront of program innovation and organizational transformation for improving positive outcomes for the homeless individuals and families” (page 7, Baylor Case Study, 2017).

For the project, researchers collected data and interviewed individuals in both faith-based and non-faith-based organizations across the country during 2016. The goal was to better understand how homelessness has increased or decreased in 11 diverse cities around the country, quantify faith and non-faith based organizations’ interventions in homelessness and related issues, and estimate taxpayer savings associated with Residential Recovery and Job Readiness programs. 


AGRM recently held a webinar titled “Accessing the Faith-Based Response to Homelessness in America.” You can click the play button below to watch and listen to the recorded version of the webinar.


Get Copies of the Case Study

To access the full study online, visit the Baylor Institute for the Studies of Religion website.

AGRM has also secured a limited number of bound copies of the case study book, which might be more suitable for presenting to public officials or key donors. To order bound copies of the 140-plus page book, contact Executive Assistant Christine Matos at The cost is $2.00 per book, plus shipping and handling.