Ending Homelessness Requires Becoming Anti-racist

10.26.20

 By President & CEO Kevin Lindamood


It’s no surprise that the greatest burdens of a global pandemic fall on Black and Brown people. American public health crises, including homelessness, have always hurt these communities hardest. Racism was woven into our public policies and institutions well before the knee of law enforcement launched a national reawakening to it.

White people like me are disproportionately represented among those who are healthy and housed. We are less likely to die prematurely. When compared with Black and Brown people, whites endure far less violence and jail time, earn higher wages, and have many more options for where we live and work.

Health Care for the Homeless is similar to the vast majority of American non-profits: Our administrative and clinical leadership is primarily white, while most of the people we serve (85%) and the staff who work with them (64%) are Black and Brown. Our systems and structures, created primarily by white leaders, are fundamentally flawed. We must evaluate, redesign and reimagine them.

Earlier this year, we at Health Care for the Homeless promised you, our community, to pursue racial equity and inclusion in all we do—from clinical care to culture and operations. This is not the work of a month or a year, but rather a reorientation that will make us a better, more effective organization and further our mission to end homelessness.

We have begun this work in earnest. Hold us accountable. In addition to the service and advocacy you make possible, you should expect to see clear evidence of our racial equity work in the months and years ahead. We are committing time and resources to ensure that our efforts will succeed. If nothing changes, nothing changes.

Join me on the journey. Read, study, listen and commit to the hard work needed to build a just society. Engage with others through our Community of Practice discussions and Facebook group.

Some have asked if a strategic commitment to racial equity is a departure from our mission. I last fielded inquiries like this three years ago when the agency pledged to build housing for those we serve. The questions are interrelated, the answers the same: Racial equity, like affordable housing, is a fulfillment of our mission. We’ll never end homelessness without achieving both.


Learn more about our REI work

 

 

More Recent News


06.28.22

It’s been a whirlwind year for our new Senior Director of Practice Operations, but if anyone can keep pace it’s Mona Hadley. After stepping into the Director role last June, Mona seamlessly transitioned to Senior Director of Practice Operations this spring. Her bright energy has helped guide Practice Operations through staff changes, departmental restructuring, and the impacts of the global pandemic. With more change in store for 2022, what better time for a quick catch-up?

2253
06.27.22

Margaret Flanagan doesn’t like the spotlight. But in her roles as Disability Assistance Project Manager to Director of Compliance, her service over 12+ years has been critical to securing critical funding, becoming statewide leaders in SOAR, maintaining Joint Commission accreditation and National Commission on Quality Assurance recognition, improving safety practices, and keeping our clinics open during the global pandemic. Now, with her recent promotion to Senior Director, Margaret has big plans for Quality Assurance in 2022.

2245
06.27.22

Friday marked the tremendous loss of a fundamental human right in the United States. Read our statement on the ruling of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. 

2244
06.14.22

Say hello to the agency’s inaugural Director of Client Access, Muhammed Mamman, MBA, MHA! Prior to joining us in May, Muhammed spent 14 years improving health care delivery across Maryland. His warm personality and passion for improving client health are a welcome addition as a leader of this new department. 

2235

View All News