March 23, 2020

Racial Disparities Analysis Using Data from Homeless Response Systems​

Presented at: National Homeless Services Data Consortium, Nashville, TN

Presented on: 04/15-04/17/2019

In response to one of HUD’s questions from the 2019 CoC funding application, our team analyzed how equitably our CoC is serving different racial/ethnic groups in terms of receiving homelessness services, prioritizing those services, and housing success rate. We determined that an unbiased homeless system would serve each racial/ethnic group at the same rate that each group experiences homelessness. Using data from the United States Census Bureau and our HMIS, we compared these rates from before and after the implementation of a coordinated entry system to determine if program entry requirements would result in a less biased system. We gathered information on how local systemic discrimination has led to disproportionate numbers of people of color living in poverty and homelessness, compared levels of vulnerability (disability status, VI-SPDAT scores) between the different groups, and studied how the rates at which each race/ethnicity is served differs by housing provider types. Ultimately, we found that we serve all individuals more equally now, but people of color can still greatly benefit from restructuring the social systems that put them more at risk of homelessness. We believe that our method could be of use to other communities looking for a way to ensure equity among the groups they serve.

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