Systematic racism impacts education, housing, opportunity, and more. We must address racial discrimination if we are to end youth homelessness and ensure every young person has a safe place to live and the support they need to realize their dreams.
Racial Discrimination Is a Pipeline to Youth Homelessness
of all Californians experiencing homelessness identify as Black or African American
1 in 4 Hispanic and Latinx children live below the poverty line in the U.S., compared to 1 in 9 white children.
In CA, 90% of the youth we serve are youth of color
How Does Racial Discrimination Impact Youth of Color?
“40% of all Californians experiencing homelessness identify as Black or African American, even though Black Californians only make up 6.5% of the state’s total population”
Due to historic and structural racism, people of color are more likely to be extremely low-income, and are therefore at higher risk of experiencing homelessness.
Across America, Black people represent 13.4% of the overall population, but 39.8% of all people experiencing homelessness. (HUD/US Census) Indigenous Americans, Native Alaskans, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, and people who identify as biracial also make up a disproportionate share of the homeless population National Alliance to End Homelessness,. Hispanic/Latinx people make up a share of the homeless population slightly higher than their share of the general population, while White and Asian people are significantly underrepresented.
40% of all Californians experiencing homelessness identify as Black or African American, even though Black Californians only make up 6.5% of the state’s total population.
Indigenous American, Hawaiian Native, Alaskan Native, and Pacific Islander Californians also experience adult and youth homelessness at disproportionate rates.
How We Help Young People of Color Experiencing Homelessness
As a society, we can accompany young people of color in overcoming the traumatic effects of racism if we will all do a better job of being their allies and encouraging them.
Every young person who comes to Covenant House California is met with unconditional love and absolute respect.
These five principles have been informed by our youth and help to guide our our work at every Covenant House site:
Covenant House immediately meets the basic needs of youth experiencing homelessness through a nourishing meal, a shower, clean clothes, medical attention, and a safe place to sleep.
Covenant House provides a safe haven from the hardships of homelessness. We recognize the fundamental worth of every human being, and create a safe setting where all youth – regardless of life experience or identity – are served without judgement.
Covenant House leads by example to demonstrate that caring relationships are based on love, trust, respect, and honesty.
Covenant House provides the stability and structure necessary to build a positive future.
Covenant House fosters confidence; encouraging young people to believe in themselves and make informed choices for their lives.