The Intersection between Race and Homelessness

Homelessness is inextricably linked to racism. In fact, homelessness can be seen as a symptom of structural racism. The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty argues that “homelessness and the lack of affordable housing in the United States of America have a disparate racial impact, in violation of the United States’ obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.” In King County, nearly two thirds of people experiencing homelessness are people and families of color. African Americans are five times more likely to experience homelessness than their white counterparts in King County and Native American and Alaska Native individuals are seven times more likely to experience homelessness.

Our strategic plan to make homelessness rare, brief and one-time in King County also seeks to eliminate racial disparities. We know that addressing homelessness includes having difficult conversations about race. Truly ending homelessness will require bold action, from all of us, to create meaningful change in the lives of individuals experiencing homelessness in our community. All Home is committed to racial justice and in an effort to create a culture in which we can talk frankly about race, each week we will highlight articles, data, and stories that further the conversation on the intersection between race and homelessness. We invite you, our partners, to join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook or by emailing us directly.