The 1996 National Survey of Homeless Assistance Providers and Clients: A Comparison of Faith-Based and Secular Non-Profit Programs

Aron, L.Y., and P. Sharkey
Washington, D.C.: The Urban Institute

One of the most dramatic findings to emerge from the 1996 National Survey of Homeless Assistance Providers and Clients (NSHAPC) is the tremendous growth in the number and variety of homeless assistance programs during the late 1980s and early 1990s. While much of this growth has been fueled by new investments of public funds, most faithbased non-profits operate with little or no government funding, yet they play a critical role in helping homeless people.

This study examines data from NSHAPC to determine more thoroughly the role that faith-based programs play in the larger context of homeless assistance. The study has an explicit focus on comparing homeless assistance programs administered by faith-based versus secular non-profit service agencies. It provides a basic but comprehensive picture of the numbers and characteristics of the two types of homeless assistance programs.

The NSHAPC data are drawn from a comprehensive nationally representative survey of programs providing homeless assistance services and the clients of these programs. All questions used for this analysis come from the survey of program administrators.

Wagner Faculty