FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 4, 2020
Vice President of Communications and Public Policy
Colorado Coalition for the Homeless
Colorado Coalition for the Homeless Statement Regarding Institutional Racism and Violence
Colorado Coalition for the Homeless condemns the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, David McAtee, Paul Childs, and so many more Black lives lost to police violence and racism. We condemn the historic injustice, neglect, torture, pain, and death that Black communities have far too long suffered. A legacy of hate has earned the rage and anger we are seeing. This rage and anger underscores the continued oppression and insidious institutional racism that infects our nation.
As a housing and healthcare for the homeless agency, we recognize that Black and brown communities have been historically harmed by racist policies and ideologies that permeate this country and plague our systems, including in homelessness and poverty. Homelessness is the natural and foreseeable result of intentional policies and institutional racism, and as a result we see Black and indigenous people over-represented in our homeless system.
We recommit, today, to changing and fighting this system at many levels, locally, state-wide, and federally. The Coalition will continue to fight injustice with demands for policy change for the Black community disproportionately facing evictions, gentrification, poverty, homelessness, and lack of access to health care.
We recognize that, as an organization made up primarily of white Board of Directors and white leadership, many of us do not have the ability to fully understand the pain and fear that the Black community has felt, and will feel if this violence continues. However, we are committed to being anti-racist. We know that those closest to the pain must be closest to the decision-making. We welcome feedback and thoughts on the Coalition’s approach to equity and ways we can use our power, our resources and our voice to lead change. We will not remain silent in the face of ongoing injustice.
As we move forward, these are the actions we are taking:
- Listening to our clients, employees, and community leaders of color and amplifying their voices.
- Working to be anti-racist to understand how we continue to perpetuate systems of power and oppression and actively fighting against this.
- Vocally speaking out against racism at individual, organizational, and community levels.
- Continuing to support our justice, equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives and addressing past and present harms in our agency.
- Working to reform the criminal justice system which, has disproportionally incarcerated people of color, and providing housing, health care and jobs to people of color being released from jail and prison.
- Working to support “minority owned businesses” through our construction contracts and procurement processes.
Please email us at email@example.com with your thoughts. We may not be able to respond to each comment, but we promise to discuss these ideas for the future of the Coalition with its leadership.
To our Black community members, consumers, and supporters, we stand with you.
About the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless
The mission of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless is to work collaboratively toward the prevention of homelessness and the creation of lasting solutions for people experiencing and at-risk of homelessness homeless throughout Colorado. The Coalition advocates for and provides a continuum of housing and a variety of services to improve the health, well-being and stability of those it serves. Since its founding more than 30 years ago, the organization has earned state and national recognition for its integrated healthcare, housing, and service programs. The Coalition’s comprehensive approach addresses the causes of homelessness, as well as the consequences, offering critical assistance to over 20,000 individuals and families each year. Learn more at www.coloradocoalition.org.