Identifying Racial and Ethnic Disparities and Biases Within CoCs

HUD Tool Helps Communities Analyze Unique Circumstances Impacting Homeless Populations

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) developed a resource to help communities identify racial and ethnic disparities and biases within their Continuum of Care (CoC). The CoC Analysis Tool: Race and Ethnicity includes data from the Point-in-Time Count and the American Community Survey.

Click here to access the tool and to learn more about how to use it for your CoC.

In analyzing the data from NJ Counts 2018, Monarch Housing Associates provided a snapshot of the population experiencing homelessness in the state of New Jersey on a single night. NJ Counts is the annual statewide Point-In-Time count.

As communities work to expand their understanding of the root causes of homelessness it is important to recognize the structural forces impacting trajectories into and out of homelessness. Disparities in who experiences homelessness highlight the impact of a pervasive structural force: Systemic Racism. Acknowledging and understanding the impact of systemic racism on those experiencing homelessness is key to developing an effective system responsive to the community and strengthened in cultural understanding and awareness.

NJCounts 2018, found that racial disparities are evident in the population experiencing homelessness. NJCounts 2018 found persons identifying as Black or African American making up 48.1% of the total population counted as homeless and 24% of the state population living in poverty, and only 12.7% of the general state population.

Each community has unique circumstances impacting homeless populations. The CoC Analysis Tool draws on Point-In-Time (PIT) Count and American Community Survey data to facilitate analysis of racial disparities among people experiencing homelessness. Such an analysis is a critical first step in identifying and changing racial and ethnic bias in our systems and services.

The number of people experiencing homelessness represented in this tool is drawn from the 2017 PIT Count data reported in the Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to the U.S Congress. PIT Counts are unduplicated 1-night estimates of sheltered and unsheltered homeless populations conducted by CoCs nationwide during the last week of January each year.