In the Wilamette Valley, which includes both Portland and Salem, there are approximately 2000 churches. Some have only twenty members, some have thousands. Given the reputation of Oregon to be an "unchurched" area, there are a huge number of self-sustaining churches.
In the Wilamette Valley, according to the best estimates, there are 2000 homeless people every night. This number fluxuates and there are a lot of varieties of homeless people, but the number is a fair estimate.
Is this coincidence?
If this is correct, then if each church, on average, just ministered to and assisted just one-- ONE-- homeless person, then the whole outlook of poverty and homelessness would change for the whole Wilamette Valley-- for all of Portland and Salem.
I wonder if this statistic could be replicated throughout the United States? If every church in the U.S. would take poverty seriously and just take one one-- just one-- homeless person per congregation, then the whole landscape of poverty in the nation would change.
And the nation might actually recognize that the church is here to create a positive impact, and not just to suck resources into the personal egos of religious ideologies.