In 2018, Your Way Home made a systemic commitment to advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Last summer at the 6th Annual Your Way Home Summit, our initiative unveiled its plans to conduct an Equity Evaluation in an effort to proactively combat, in meaningful and authentic ways, the impact of historical and ongoing institutionalized discrimination in housing practices.
Our own data revealed that the experience of homelessness is disproportionately experienced by people of color. National, regional and local discussions among policymakers and system leaders are raising awareness that structural racism leads to homelessness and systemic inequities.
Through our partnership with the HealthSpark Foundation, we embarked on our first step of this evaluation by bringing in the SPARC team at the Center for Social Innovation, a firm that is leading this work nationally, as well as a local group of equity leaders to advise us on our process.
We analyzed data, talked to people of color in our shelters, and talked to our providers about their experiences.
We looked at our board and staff diversity and the ways we recruit for positions with decision-making power.
We evaluated our structures, cultures and strategies for impact, not intent.
This racial equity evaluation is our first step in understanding what it will mean for Montgomery County to actively work to overcome racial disparities in homeless services. We are thrilled to unveil Phase I of this work: an analysis of our data, policies and procedures, and personnel recruitment through a racial equity lens.
RACE & HOMELESSNESS RESOURCES
Racism, Homelessness and Philanthropy: t3 Changing the Conversation (March 28, 2016)