What Did the Continuums of Care with the Largest Number of Persons Experiencing Homelessness in the U.S. Answer When Asked about Racial Disparities in the Provision or Outcome of Homeless Assistance?

-80% indicated that there were racial disparities and selected strategies to address the issues- 

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) asked Continuums of Care (CoCs) to respond to the following within a subsection of the recently submitted 2018 Continuum of Care (CoC) Program application that focused on racial disparity: 

  • “indicate whether the CoC assessed whether there are racial disparities in the provision or outcome of homeless assistance;”
  • if the CoC conducted an assessment, “select from the options below (the four options are listed in Table 2) the results of the CoC’s assessment;” and
  • “select from the options below (the 11 options are listed in Table 3) the strategies the CoC is using to address any racial disparities.” 

This brief summarizes the responses of the 20 CoCs with the largest number of people experiencing homelessness in the U.S. according to the 2017 point-in-time count of unsheltered and sheltered persons. The 2018 point-in-time count results have not yet been released by HUD. 

1.      “Indicate whether the CoC assessed whether there are racial disparities in the provision or outcome of homeless assistance” 

Sixteen or 80% of the 20 CoCs indicated they had assessed for racial disparities in the provision or outcome of homeless assistance as noted in Table 1. The four CoCs that indicated that they did not assess for racial disparities in their provision or outcome of homeless assistance were 

  • District of Columbia CoC;
  • Philadelphia CoC;
  • Honolulu City and County CoC; and
  • Colorado Balance of State CoC. 

Table 1. Indicate whether the CoC assessed whether there are racial disparities in the provision or outcome of homeless assistance

 

 

 

 

 

Continuum of Care

 

 

 

 

Total Homeless
Population

 

 

Indicate whether the CoC assessed whether there are racial disparities in the provision or outcome of homeless assistance

Yes

No

 

 

 

 

New York City, NY

76,501

x

 

Los Angeles City & County, CA

55,188

x

 

Seattle/King County, WA

11,643

x

 

San Diego City & County, CA

9,160

x

 

District of Columbia

7,473

 

x

San Jose/Santa Clara City & County, CA

7,394

x

 

Texas Balance of State

7,153

x

 

San Francisco, CA

6,858

x

 

Las Vegas/Clark County, NV

6,490

x

 

Boston, MA

6,135

x

 

Oregon Balance of State

5,795

x

 

Philadelphia, PA

5,693

 

x

Honolulu, HI

4,959

 

x

Santa Ana/Anaheim/Orange County, CA

4,792

x

 

Washington Balance of State

4,671

x

 

Colorado Balance of State

4,019

 

x

Nassau, Suffolk Counties/ Babylon/Islip/ Huntington, NY

3,937

x

 

Georgia Balance of State

3,716

x

 

Indiana Balance of State

3,655

x

 

Salinas/Monterey, San Benito Counties, CA

3,364

x

 

 

 

 

Total:

16

4

2.      “If the CoC conducted an assessment, select from the options below the results of the CoC’s assessment”  

Table 2 includes the selected results by the 16 CoCs that conducted an assessment, which include 

  • 62.5% or 10 of 16 CoCs reported “people of different races or ethnicities are more or less likely to receive homeless assistance;”
  • 37.5% or six of 16 CoCs reported “people of different races or ethnicities are more or less likely to receive a positive outcome from homeless assistance;”
  • 25% or four of 16 CoCs reported “there are no racial or ethnic disparities in the provision or outcome of homeless assistance;” and
  • 43.7% or seven of 16 CoCs reported “the results are inconclusive for racial or ethnic disparities in the provision or outcome of homeless assistance.” 

Table 2. Selected results of the CoC’s assessment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Continuum of Care

 

 

 

 

 

People of different races or ethnicities are more or less likely to receive homeless assistance

 

 

 

 

People of different races or ethnicities are more or less likely to receive a positive outcome from homeless assistance

 

 

 

 

 

There are no racial or ethnic disparities in the provision or outcome of homeless assistance

 

 

 

 

The
results are inconclusive for racial or ethnic disparities in the provision or outcome of homeless assistance

 

 

 

 

 

New York City, NY

x

 

 

x

Los Angeles City & County, CA

 

x

 

 

Seattle/King County, WA

x

x

 

 

San Diego City & County, CA

 

 

 

x

San Jose/Santa Clara City & County, CA

 

 

 

x

Texas Balance of State

x

x

 

 

San Francisco, CA

x

x

x

x

Las Vegas/Clark County, NV

 

 

 

x

Boston, MA

x

 

 

x

Oregon Balance of State

x

 

x

 

Santa Ana/Anaheim/Orange County, CA

x

x

 

 

Washington Balance of State

x

x

 

 

Nassau, Suffolk Counties/ Babylon/Islip/ Huntington, NY

 

 

 x

 

Georgia Balance of State

x

 

x

 

Indiana Balance of State

x

 

 

 

Salinas/Monterey, San Benito Counties, CA

 

 

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

Total:

10

6

4

7

3.      “Select from the options below the strategies the CoC is using to address any racial disparities” 

As noted in Table 3, the top three strategies that the 16 CoCs are using include 

  • Expansion of outreach in geographic areas with higher concentrations of underrepresented groups;
  • Communication, such as flyers, websites, or other materials, inclusive of underrepresented groups; and
  • Board and decision-making bodies’ representative of the population served in the CoC. 

These three strategies are highlighted in bold in the table below. 

Table 3. Strategies that all CoCs are using to address any racial disparities

 

Strategy

 

# of CoCs that
use the strategy

 

#

%

The CoC’s board and decisionmaking bodies are representative of the population served in the CoC.

 13

 86.7

The CoC has identified steps it will take to help the CoC board and decisionmaking bodies better reflect the population served in the CoC

3

 18.7

The CoC is expanding outreach in geographic areas with higher concentrations of underrepresented groups

 15

93.7

The CoC has communication, such as flyers, websites, or other materials, inclusive of underrepresented groups

 15

93.7

The CoC is training staff working in the homeless services sector to better understand racism and the intersection of racism and homelessness

 1

6.2

The CoC is establishing professional development opportunities to identify and invest in emerging leaders of different races and ethnicities in the homelessness sector

 0

0.0

The CoC has staff, committees or other resources charged with analyzing and addressing racial disparities related to homelessness

 3

18.7

The CoC is educating organizations, stakeholders, boards of directors for local and national non-profit organizations working on homelessness on the topic of creating greater racial and ethnic diversity

 2

12.5

The CoC reviewed coordinated entry processes to understand their impact on people of different races and ethnicities experiencing homelessness

 1

6.2

The CoC is collecting data to better understand the pattern of program use for people of different races and ethnicities in its homeless services system

 3

 18.7

The CoC is conducting additional research to understand the scope and needs of different races or ethnicities experiencing homelessness

 5

31.2

Other:

12

75.0

            Next Steps 

CoCs should consider using the strategies listed in Table 3 that are not highlighted in bold to address any racial disparities if they have not already. Less than one-third of the 16 CoCs were using each of the non-highlighted strategies listed in Table 3. 

Only three (18.7%) of the 16 CoCs 

  • “identified steps it will take to help the CoC board and decisionmaking bodies better reflect the population served in the CoC;
  • has staff, committees or other resources charged with analyzing and addressing racial disparities related to homelessness;
  • is collecting data to better understand the pattern of program use for people of different races and ethnicities in its homeless services system.” 

Only two (12.5%) of the 16 CoCs 

  • is educating organizations, stakeholders, boards of directors for local and national non-profit organizations working on homelessness on the topic of creating greater racial and ethnic diversity 

Just one (6.2%) of the 16 CoCs 

  • reviewed coordinated entry processes to understand their impact on people of different races and ethnicities experiencing homelessness 

None of the CoCs 

  • “is establishing professional development opportunities to identify and invest in emerging leaders of different races and ethnicities in the homelessness sector.”

 

Appendix A 

Appendix A consists of Table 4, which is divided into four sections. Each section includes the responses of four of the 16 CoCs regarding the strategies the CoC is using to address any racial disparities as noted in their 2018 CoC Program application. CoCs are listed by the size of their homeless population from largest to smallest. 

Table 4. Strategies the CoC is using to address any racial disparities

 

 

Strategies

 

New York City CoC

 

Los Angeles City & County CoC

 

Seattle & King County CoC

 

San Diego City & County CoC

 

 

 

 

 

The CoC’s board and decisionmaking bodies are representative of the population served in the CoC.

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

The CoC has identified steps it will take to help the CoC board and decisionmaking bodies better reflect the population served in the CoC

 

 

 

 

The CoC is expanding outreach in geographic areas with higher concentrations of underrepresented groups

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

The CoC has communication, such as flyers, websites, or other materials, inclusive of underrepresented groups

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

The CoC is training staff working in the homeless services sector to better understand racism and the intersection of racism and homelessness

 

 

 

 

The CoC is establishing professional development opportunities to identify and invest in emerging leaders of different races and ethnicities in the homelessness sector

 

 

 

 

The CoC has staff, committees or other resources charged with analyzing and addressing racial disparities related to homelessness

 

 

 

 

The CoC is educating organizations, stakeholders, boards of directors for local and national non-profit organizations working on homelessness on the topic of creating greater racial and ethnic diversity

 

 

 

 

The CoC reviewed coordinated entry processes to understand their impact on people of different races and ethnicities experiencing homelessness

 

 

 

 

The CoC is collecting data to better understand the pattern of program use for people of different races and ethnicities in its homeless services system

 

 

 

 

The CoC is conducting additional research to understand the scope and needs of different races or ethnicities experiencing homelessness

 

x

 

 

 

Other:

 

x

x

x

 Table 4. Strategies the CoC is using to address any racial disparities (con’t)

 

 

Strategies

 

San Jose/Santa Clara City & County CoC

 

Texas Balance of State CoC

 

 

San Francisco CoC

 

Las Vegas/Clark County CoC

 

 

 

 

 

The CoC’s board and decisionmaking bodies are representative of the population served in the CoC.

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

The CoC has identified steps it will take to help the CoC board and decisionmaking bodies better reflect the population served in the CoC

 

 

x

 

 

The CoC is expanding outreach in geographic areas with higher concentrations of underrepresented groups

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

The CoC has communication, such as flyers, websites, or other materials, inclusive of underrepresented groups

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

The CoC is training staff working in the homeless services sector to better understand racism and the intersection of racism and homelessness

 

 

 

 

The CoC is establishing professional development opportunities to identify and invest in emerging leaders of different races and ethnicities in the homelessness sector

 

 

 

 

The CoC has staff, committees or other resources charged with analyzing and addressing racial disparities related to homelessness

 

 

 

 

The CoC is educating organizations, stakeholders, boards of directors for local and national non-profit organizations working on homelessness on the topic of creating greater racial and ethnic diversity

 

 

 

 

The CoC reviewed coordinated entry processes to understand their impact on people of different races and ethnicities experiencing homelessness

 

 

 

 

The CoC is collecting data to better understand the pattern of program use for people of different races and ethnicities in its homeless services system

 

 

 

 

The CoC is conducting additional research to understand the scope and needs of different races or ethnicities experiencing homelessness

 

 

x

 

 

Other:

x

x

x

x

 Table 4. Strategies the CoC is using to address any racial disparities (con’t)

 

 

Strategies

 

 

Boston CoC

 

Oregon Balance of State CoC

 

Santa Ana/ Anaheim/
Orange County CoC

 

Washington Balance of State CoC

 

 

 

 

 

The CoC’s board and decisionmaking bodies are representative of the population served in the CoC.

 

 

x

 

 

The CoC has identified steps it will take to help the CoC board and decisionmaking bodies better reflect the population served in the CoC

 

x

 

 

 

x

The CoC is expanding outreach in geographic areas with higher concentrations of underrepresented groups

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

The CoC has communication, such as flyers, websites, or other materials, inclusive of underrepresented groups

 

x

 

x

 

 

x

The CoC is training staff working in the homeless services sector to better understand racism and the intersection of racism and homelessness

 

 

 

x

 

The CoC is establishing professional development opportunities to identify and invest in emerging leaders of different races and ethnicities in the homelessness sector

 

 

 

 

The CoC has staff, committees or other resources charged with analyzing and addressing racial disparities related to homelessness

 

x

 

 

x

 

x

The CoC is educating organizations, stakeholders, boards of directors for local and national non-profit organizations working on homelessness on the topic of creating greater racial and ethnic diversity

 

 

 

 

x

 

 

x

The CoC reviewed coordinated entry processes to understand their impact on people of different races and ethnicities experiencing homelessness

 

x

 

 

 

The CoC is collecting data to better understand the pattern of program use for people of different races and ethnicities in its homeless services system

 

x

 

 

x

 

x

The CoC is conducting additional research to understand the scope and needs of different races or ethnicities experiencing homelessness

 

x

 

 

x

 

x

Other:

 

x

 

 

 Table 4. Strategies the CoC is using to address any racial disparities (con’t)

 

 

 

 

 

Nassau, Suffolk Counties/ Babylon/Islip/ Huntington CoC

 

 

 Georgia Balance of State CoC

 

 

 

Indiana Balance of State CoC

 

 

Salinas/ Monterey, San Benito Counties CoC

 

 

 

 

 

The CoC’s board and decisionmaking bodies are representative of the population served in the CoC.

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

The CoC has identified steps it will take to help the CoC board and decisionmaking bodies better reflect the population served in the CoC

 

 

 

 

The CoC is expanding outreach in geographic areas with higher concentrations of underrepresented groups

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

The CoC has communication, such as flyers, websites, or other materials, inclusive of underrepresented groups

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

The CoC is training staff working in the homeless services sector to better understand racism and the intersection of racism and homelessness

 

 

 

 

The CoC is establishing professional development opportunities to identify and invest in emerging leaders of different races and ethnicities in the homelessness sector

 

 

 

 

The CoC has staff, committees or other resources charged with analyzing and addressing racial disparities related to homelessness

 

 

 

 

The CoC is educating organizations, stakeholders, boards of directors for local and national non-profit organizations working on homelessness on the topic of creating greater racial and ethnic diversity

 

 

 

 

The CoC reviewed coordinated entry processes to understand their impact on people of different races and ethnicities experiencing homelessness

 

 

 

 

The CoC is collecting data to better understand the pattern of program use for people of different races and ethnicities in its homeless services system

 

 

 

 

The CoC is conducting additional research to understand the scope and needs of different races or ethnicities experiencing homelessness

 

 

 

 

Other:

x

x

x

x

 

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