We at Father Joe’s Villages are not merely observers but active participants in the ongoing fight for social justice and equality. A diverse community, clients, and staff is a cornerstone of Father Joe’s Villages. This February, we celebrate the rich achievements within the Black community. Yet, we cannot ignore the stark reality of systemic racism that perpetuates barriers for too many of our neighbors.
Black San Diegans make up 28% of the population of people experiencing homelessness in our region, even though they represent only 5% of the overall population. This echoes similar statistics across the country – In 2022, 13% of Americans are Black, but account for 37% of people and 49% of families experiencing homelessness.
The disproportionality in homelessness is a result of systemic inequity and disparities in critical areas such as access to housing, healthcare, employment, and education. These factors contribute to the uneven rates of homelessness among the Black population.
We are committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within our staff. Recognizing the importance of representation and understanding the diverse needs of our clients, we actively build a team that reflects the communities we serve.
We also design programs and services that account for the specific challenges faced by marginalized groups which very frequently include the homeless population in general and spreads further into subpopulations such as the Black population.
This Black History Month, we must raise awareness to the urgent need for support and proven comprehensive solutions that help our neighbors exit homelessness, or even better, prevent them from falling into homelessness in the first place.