Recognizing that racial inequity is entrenched in social services, MDHI has partnered with the leadership of the Equity and Accessibility Committee to make a resolute commitment to addressing the systemic flaws in our homeless response and housing systems. The MDHI Equity and Accessibility Committee (EAC) seeks to improve the equity of client outcomes and actively reverse racial inequities present throughout the system of homelessness services. Achieving racially equitable outcomes and undoing generations of oppressive systems require us to recognize these racial inequities and orient our communities towards discussing, analyzing, and actively working to solve them.
For Metro Denver to end homelessness, we must address the role racism plays in preserving housing inequities and homelessness. Analysis conducted by the EAC along with the 2018 and 2019 PIT data confirms that despite local poverty rates, communities of color are disproportionately overrepresented among Metro Denver’s homeless population. Through 2018-2019, the EAC developed the 2019 Equity Recommendations for the Denver Metro CoC, which are now under review by the MDHI Board of Directors. These recommendations call for the following:
Lived Experience Advisory Board - Designed to address the power dynamic that currently exists between people experiencing homelessness and decision-makers in housing and homelessness spaces.
Racial Representation of the MDHI Board and CoC Funded Programs - Involves incentivizing representation of marginalized groups on organization boards, executive leadership, volunteers, top 10% of income earners, and several other key areas of staffing.
Racially Equitable Housing Outcomes - Proposes a new prioritization that looks at system involvement as an added measure of vulnerability.
The committee developed the 2019 Equity Recommendations for the Denver Metro CoC as innovative solutions to build racial equity into the infrastructures of our community’s homeless crisis response system.
Equity & Accessibility During COVID-19
Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen communities across the nation experiencing a mounting overrepresentation of Black and Brown people contracting and ultimately dying due to the pandemic. Similar to what we see consistently in homelessness data, there is an overrepresentation of certain races and ethnicities, specifically Black people and Native Americans.
MDHI’s Equity and Accessibility Committee also crafted several key recommendations to address the racial inequities in our community during COVID-19. Among them is a call for a statewide task force with a racially equitable system design that is intended to prohibit racially inequitable healthcare and housing outcomes during the COVID-19 response. Let’s ensure Colorado uses this crisis as an opportunity to redress the profound harms of racial inequity in both our housing and healthcare systems.
Read our full Racial Equity Statement in regard to the COVID-19 response and learn about the critical steps our community can take now.