Chapter 1: Understanding the crisis

Root causes: structural racism

Systemic racism plays a huge role in our homelessness crisis. Discrimination and anti-Black racism inform not only individual attitudes toward people experiencing homelessness, but also policies and other structural barriers.

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Homelessness is a complex problem without a one-size-fits-all fix. We need to look at the root causes of our crisis in order to advocate effectively for its solutions.

In L.A. County, Black individuals make up 8% of the overall population and 42% of the population experiencing homelessness. This is a direct result of racism, discrimination, and biases across interpersonal, cultural, and structural levels. Our homelessness crisis is deeply informed by a history of segregation and systemic racism in public policy, including redlining, mass incarceration, income inequality, and criminalization of poverty.

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Solutions to our homelessness crisis

Homelessness is a complicated, enormous problem. The good news is that we know how to solve it. For the first time, L.A. County has a comprehensive plan and the necessary resources to enact it. One major pillar of this plan is creating more supportive and affordable housing. This is where we focus most of our advocacy efforts.

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