Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about homelessness, poverty and the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions

How many people are hungry in America?

As many as 48.8 million people in the United States live in food insecure households.1

How many people are homeless in America?

Estimates of homelessness range from 650,000 to 1 million individuals on any given night.2

How many people are addicted in America?

Approximately 22.1 million Americans are held captive by drugs or alcohol.3

What is a gospel rescue mission?

Gospel rescue missions are havens of hope for the lost and lonely who call the street home. These organizations offer hot food, clean clothing, temporary shelter, and the possibility of a more abundant life. With a 100-year history of providing lifelines for those drowning in the waves of adversity and the undertow of addiction, they are on the street and in the face of the problem.

What is the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions?

Founded in 1913, The Association of Gospel Rescue Missions (AGRM) is a gathering place and a voice for these rescue missions. Some 300 member organizations have discovered the valuable connections and multiple benefits AGRM offers. AGRM is North America’s oldest and largest network of independent crisis shelters and rehabilitation centers, offering radical hospitality in the name of Jesus.

What is the impact of AGRM member organizations that are working on the problems of homelessness, addiction and poverty?

Every year, AGRM members use 300,000 volunteers and 10,000 full-time staff to serve approximately 50 million meals, provide more than 20 million nights of lodging, distribute some 30 million pieces of clothing, graduate upwards of 20,000 people from addiction-recovery programs, and provide many additional valuable services. The ramification of their work positively influences surrounding communities in countless ways.

Have AGRM member missions seen an increase in the need for their services since the recession?

In 2010, AGRM member organizations offered 16.9 million nights of lodging (an increase of 2.3 percent over 2007), distributed 21.4 million pieces of clothing (up 14.4 percent), and handed out 4.2 million furniture items (an increase of 37.6 percent as compared to 2007) to people in need. AGRM members reported exceeding previous highs in nearly all service categories.

What are the benefits of association membership?

Members receive:

  • News and information publications. AGRM publishes a bimonthly magazine and semimonthly newsletter for rescue mission leaders, and a monthly newsletter for executive directors.
  • Educational and training programs. An annual convention, district gatherings, monthly webinars and more equip leaders for effective ministry.
  • Formal networking programs. Affinity groups (profession-related groups) and the Emerging Leaders Conclave (for young leaders) provide meaningful ways to connect with other leaders.
  • Online services. These include a directory of missions, business member directory, job area and more.
  • Documents and data. AGRM produces white papers and rescue-mission-related research.
  • Professional recognition. Certification and the Media Innovation Competition inspire missions toward excellence.
  • Professional consultation. The association offers a toll-free help line, site visits, and board development sessions.
  • Contract services. Food service, insurance, retirement, gifts-in-kind and other programs are offered especially for AGRM members.
  • Marketing and public relations. National and local public relations initiatives, Connection Calendars, coin boxes, curriculum for churches and Bible studies and more help spread the word about the importance of rescue missions
  • Outreach. This includes the New Creation Service Corp. for addiction recovery graduates and help for new rescue missions.
  • Identification. Members receive a certificate and may use the AGRM logo.

Where can I find help for a homeless, hungry or addicted person in my area?

You can use our searchable map directory to find a local mission that can assist you.

What can I do to help fight homelessness and poverty?

Consider contacting your local rescue mission and offering to volunteer. AGRM believes each individual can offer true hospitality in his or her own context.

While established rescue missions are the large service centers where a great number of needy people receive the love and attention they desperately need, you can do the same thing on a smaller scale in your home and your neighborhood. Click here to download a sample excerpt, from the book Invisible Neighbors, on what to do if you encounter a panhandler.  To learn more about extending true hospitality to someone experiencing homeless, visit www.


[1] U.S. Department of Agriculture. Coleman-Jensen, A., Nord, M., Andrews, M., & Carlson, S. (2010). Household Food Security in the United States in 2010. Retrieved from:

[2] U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Community Planning and Development. (2010). 2010 Homeless Assessment Report to Congress. Retrieved from:

[3] Department of Health and Human Services. (2010). Results from the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings. Retrieved from: