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Your Way Home Racial Equity Forum

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 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.

And then we paused, so we could share that information with all of you.

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. Join us as we unveil Phase I of this work: an analysis of our data, policies and procedures, and personnel recruitment through a racial equity lens.


1:30 PM: Networking

1:45 PM Opening Remarks: 
Emma Hertz, Administrator, Office of Housing & Community Development
Russell Johnson, President & CEO, HealthSpark Foundation

1:55 PM Welcome Remarks:
Commissioner Val Arkoosh
Commissioner Ken Lawrence

2:15 PM Presentation of Racial Equity Evaluation: Phase I Report
Jeff Olivet, Center for Social Innovation

3:20 PM Closing Remarks
Tara Gaudin, Director, Montgomery County Department of Health & Human Services


Later Event: March 28
Your Way Home New Employee Training