We believe that ending homelessness is possible. We must address the significant obstacles that stand in the way.
Black people disproportionately experience homelessness in our community and across the country. We know that this is a direct result of the racist policies and practices that create disparities in housing, incarceration, employment, education, and health care.
The systemic barriers to safe and stable housing for communities of color have been exacerbated over the last four years by attempts to dismantle fair housing protections, inequitable health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and attacks on our democracy like we witnessed on January 6. With the inauguration of a new administration on January 20, we move forward with new leaders and new opportunities to confront the obstacles that stand in the way of ensuring every person has a safe, stable place to call home.
Ending homelessness in suburban Cook County requires both dismantling systemic racism and maximizing available resources for disinvested communities to regain and sustain quality, stable housing. The Alliance condemns white supremacy and commits to taking ownership of the structural barriers we have the power to remove.
Centering voices of people of color with lived experience of homelessness is in our agency-level Anti-Oppression Work Plan, Built for Zero Racial Equity Plan, Community Plan to End Youth Homelessness, and Coordinated Street Outreach Plan. Action steps in each of these strategic plans include more intentional and authentic engagement with individuals with lived experience of homelessness. This includes creating meaningful opportunities to share power and inform policy changes, new models to prioritize participants for services, reforming current services, and other best practices that lead to a more equitable housing system.
We are committed to making sure the umbrella of the Alliance mission and strategy effectively cover both causes and solutions for homelessness. As a collective of organizations and individuals, it is our job to lift racial equity and housing justice to a place of absolute priority, and we are committed to doing so.
Alliance to End Homelessness in Suburban Cook County
Updated: January 22, 2021