The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty condemns the recent brutal killings George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery—and of so many others before them. Our thoughts are with their families, their friends, and their communities.
We know this violence has caused tremendous pain to Black Americans and other people of color across the country, including in our own organization and networks. We condemn not only these racist actions, but also the system of institutionalized white supremacy from which they stem.
As an organization committed to using the power of the law to end the injustice of homelessness in America, we have a special responsibility to call out and fight the structural racism that is pervasive in our country.
Deliberate, discriminatory laws and policies have excluded and continue to exclude people of color from housing, resulting in homelessness in numbers far disproportionate to their representation in the general population. Laws criminalizing homelessness, rooted in Jim Crow, contribute to a criminal justice system in which people of color are grossly over-represented. Racist policies drive unequal access to resources, economic inequality, and disproportionate poverty and homelessness, devaluing the lives of Black Americans and other people of color.
We recognize that to realize our goal of ending homelessness in America, we must directly address the institutionalized racism that exists in our country. We have a critical role to play, and we commit to using our own power towards anti-racism work. We commit to deepening relationships with directly impacted communities and with organizations working directly on issues of racism and police reform. We acknowledge that we can and must do more to hold ourselves accountable—as well as holding those in power accountable.
We stand in solidarity with those demonstrating against racism and police brutality. Black Lives Matter.
Maria Foscarinis on behalf of the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty