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    Voices from the Field: Continua of Care Representatives Discuss Strategies and Opportunities for Promoting Equity in Homelessness Services in the United States

    Journal of Social Distress and Homelessness

    Year: 2024

    The current study synthesizes findings from interviews with 14 CoCs representatives (64% female, 71% White) asking how CoCs are addressing local race-based disparities through homelessness services and how HUD can help them in these efforts. Results indicated that HUD’s policy focus on coordinated entry incentivizes CoCs to think about service accessibility, but HUD needs to offer more concrete technical assistance, particularly around vulnerability assessments. Participants described data-driven decision-making as important for reducing racial disparities. They appreciated HUD’s emphasis on tracking racial demographics, but noted that HUD policies do not incentivize data collection for some populations like sexual and gender minorities. Participants described diversifying their leadership and building representation in their local services through client advisory boards. Finally, participants identified structural factors like racialized housing markets that disproportionately affect BIPOC communities. Given macro-level discrimination, local and HUD-based policies must track and respond to disparities in order to ensure equitable access to housing for all people.

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