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This astounding finding was released in February 2017 to the National Press Club, to both members of the press and the government. Allow me to give some context to why this finding, and the research that supports it, is important.
Prior to the 1930’s, government aid to those in need was primarily for widows with children and the disabled. Families, neighbors and faith based organization (as churches, orders and institutions) were at the helm of providing relief for the poor and needy in our communities. Albeit the models and practices of these institutions were not always effective, it was largely considered a private responsibility to care for others.
But as the need for assistance became insurmountable during The Great Depression, the role of government in providing financial assistance increased, and it continued to grow over several decades. However, in his State of the Union address on January 4, 1935, President Franklin Roosevelt himself stated, “The lessons of history, confirmed by the evidence immediately before me, show conclusively that continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fiber. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit.”
So why I am giving you a history lesson? Need, in the United States in all of its various forms, is not debatable. But questions as to who is responsible to care for the needy, the objectives of care and the best practices can create much debate.
Amid the various opinions, Orange County Rescue Mission has remained focused and vigilant in serving the homeless community with excellence. Since its inception in 1965, Orange County Rescue Mission has operated as a Christian, privately funded, faith-based organization. We hold to the conviction that addressing the internal issues of brokenness that lead to homelessness is even more important than addressing the external and societal issues.
Until recently, there was no hard data to measure outcomes and effectiveness of the faith based organizations on a national level.
But now, we have the data. Commissioned by, and at the request of a private foundation, Baylor University Institute for Studies of Religion released a ground-breaking study in February 2017.
Among the many significant findings of the nationwide research, Baylor University uncovered that faith based Residential Recovery programs and faith based Job Readiness programs, generate an estimated $119 million dollars in tax payer savings in a three-year period following the completion of these programs.
And, almost 60% of all shelter beds for the homeless are provided by faith based organizations.
Research was conducted in eleven major metropolitan areas of the United States. These geographic areas are representative of the demographics found throughout the nation. Comparisons in the study were made of faith based organizations, compared to all other sources of assistance combined – federal and state government, municipalities and non-faith affiliated not-for-profits.
Why am I sharing this information with you? I want all supporters and persons interested in Orange County Rescue Mission to know and understand the impact of your support. And I want you to know that supporting Orange County Rescue Mission means that you are supporting the proven SOLUTION to ending homelessness, one life at a time.
I look forward to sharing more of the findings from Baylor University’s research in future blogs. If you are interested in reading the report, you can read it here.
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