This has been an incredibly difficult week for our city and country. The murder of George Floyd was wrenching to watch – and made worse by the fact that it is only the latest in a long line of black deaths at the hands of the police. We have all been focused on the public health pandemic since March but racism is the most constant and destructive pandemic in American society – it is THE issue that pervades and weakens all of our institutions and that we have to tackle together if we want to become a more just, equitable, and democratic society.
One outcome of structural racism is that people of color are disproportionately low income, rent-burdened and more likely to become homeless. We see this every day in our work. Most of the individuals that we serve are women of color with children who have experienced trauma due to domestic violence. They become homeless, however, because of racism, sexism, and poverty.
New Destiny’s vision is a world where no one is forced to choose between being safe and having a home, and that all victims of domestic violence have access to the services and supports they need to become survivors and to live safe, healthy, fulfilling lives. We cannot get there without committing to addressing systemic racism. We cannot solve homelessness without addressing the reasons that individuals lose housing.
We know that we can and must do more to address interpersonal and institutional racism. We hope you will join us in making this commitment and in taking action.
“The rest of the world yearns to get back to normal. For black people, normal is the very thing from which we yearn to be free.” – Roxanne Gay