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How Religiosity Affects
Perceptions of the Homeless

By Lindsay Dhanani | Mentor: Dr. Amy Donley

Abstract

While most research to date has found that the majority of people believe that homelessness is a serious issue, perceptions of homeless individuals vary. Although all major religions encourage compassion for the poor and homeless, little is known about the relationship between religious faith and perceptions of homeless individuals. This study explores how religion impacts people's perceptions of homelessness. This is an important area of research to explore because so many homeless service agencies in the United States are faith-based. The data is taken from a telephone survey of 483 Central Florida residents. Results show that the influence of religion on perceptions of the homeless is neither consistent nor predictable.

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