1st Edition

Contrasts in Religion, Community, and Structure at Three Homeless Shelters
Changing Lives

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after November 5, 2021
ISBN 9780367677114
November 5, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
208 Pages

USD $160.00

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Book Description

How do people in poverty and homelessness change their lives and get back on their feet? Homeless shelters across the world play a huge role in this process. Many of them are religious, but there is a lot of diversity in faith-based non-profits that assist people affected by poverty and homelessness. In this timely book, the authors look at three homeless shelters that take more or less intensive approaches to faith, community, and programming.

In one shelter, for instance, residents are required to do a program of classes that includes group Bible study, worship, and self-evaluation. The other two examined are significantly less faith-based, but in different ways and with different structures. The authors show how the three shelters tackle homelessness differently, drawing on narrative biographical interviews and case studies with residents, interviews with staff, and case study research of the three shelters.

Entering into significant debates in social theory over religion, agency, cognitive action, and culture, this book is important reading for scholars and students in religious studies, sociology and social work.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction: Homelessness and Faith-Based Organizations

Chapter 2. Theoretical Concepts and Methods

Chapter 3. Religion and Spirituality, Community and Program Structure at Grace Ministries, a Faith-Permeated Organization

Chapter 4. Self-Sufficiency and Program Structure at House of Hope, a Faith-Affiliated Organization

Chapter 5. Respite Center: Optional Participation and Divergent Responses in a Largely Secular Nonprofit

Chapter 6. What we Found and Why it Matters

Methodological Appendix

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Ines W. Jindra is Assistant Professor of Social Work and BSW Program Director in the Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Criminology at Idaho State University in Pocatello, USA.

Michael Jindra is a cultural anthropologist at the Institute on Culture, Religion & World Affairs at Boston University, USA.

Sarah DeGenero is a graduate from Gordon College, USA.


"This book is required reading for scholars engaging with homelessness, poverty and religion. Contrasts in Religion, Community, and Structure at Three Homeless Shelters fills a badly felt gap in the field of lived religion and homelessness. It takes up important issues and moves the discussion forward in each instance. A ‘must read’!"

Srdjan Sremac, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, author of Addiction and Spiritual Transformation.