Penn IUR Publications

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

December 2001


Copyright The University of Chicago Press. Reprinted from Social Service Review, Volume 75, Number 4, December 2001, pages 559-580.


Governance and Politics, Housing and Community Development, Race and Social Welfare


This census of congregational social services is the first attempt to identify all of the congregations in Philadelphia and their services. This article reports results from 1,376 of an estimated 2,095 congregations. It finds that 1,211 congregations (88 percent) have at least one social program. On average, each congregation provides 2.41 programs and serves 102 people per month. The primary beneficiaries are children (served by 49.2 percent of all programs). According to the census, 571 congregations (41.5 percent) collaborate with secular organizations, and 857 congregations (62.3 percent) are open to collaborating with government welfare programs. Conservatively, the financial replacement value of all congregational social services in Philadelphia is $246,901,440 annually.



Date Posted: 27 June 2006

This document has been peer reviewed.