The COVID-19 crisis has upended our lives, changing the way we offer and deliver services and challenging us in unimaginable ways. However, this crisis also presents cities, counties, states, Continuums of Care (CoCs), and Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) recipients and subrecipients with an opportunity to transform our homeless response systems into systems that ensure all those we serve have a safe, stable home from which to thrive. We must make equity the foundation of these refined systems, embedding it in the design, implementation, performance measures, and monitoring of our work.
COVID-19 has amplified the historic and current racial biases and discrimination embedded in our systems, processes, and practices. As of May 19, 2020, the mortality rate for Black Americans is 2.4 times as high as the rate for Whites
and 2.2 times as high as the rate for Asians and Latinxs in America. These staggering disparities in deaths among Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color as well as the disproportionality among those experiencing homelessness mandates the need to not only place equity at the foundation of our homeless response systems, but also to center racial equity.
Below is a helpful resource and assessment for CoCs and service providers to utilize in discussing and addressing racial inequity in our homeless response:
In addition, here are excellent examples of how some cities and states are centering racial equity as they redesign and refine their systems: