Building Changes has joined more than 50 organizations across the state to endorse the 2015 Facing Race Report, which urges lawmakers to “consider how their decisions affect communities of color” and “actively pursue legislation and budget decisions that undo racial inequity.” Jointly released by the Washington State Budget & Policy Center and Washington Community Action Network, the report provides an analysis of the impact of state budget cuts over the past five years and outlines concrete recommendations and legislative priorities for the 2015 session that will improve racial equity.
Our common mission is to eliminate inequities for communities of color so that all Washingtonians have a path toward prosperity and happiness…
—Facing Race Report
Statewide and local data show that homelessness and housing insecurity disproportionately affect Washington’s communities of color:
Students of color make up a disproportionate share of the 32,494 students identified as homeless during the 2013-14 school year in Washington State. (See: OSPI Homeless Students Data, 2013-14).
- Black/African American and American Indian/Alaska Native students in Washington state are three times more likely to be homeless than white students.
- Of the Black/African American student population in Washington, 7.6 percent were counted as homeless in the 2013-14 school year, compared with 2.3 percent of white students. American Indian/Alaska Native students experienced the same homelessness rate as black students: 7.6 percent. Hispanic and Latino students experienced a homeless rate of 4.1 percent. (See: Homelessness 3 times more likely among state’s black, Native American kids)
A recent King County Determinants of Equity report found that residents of color disproportionately face unhealthy living conditions, housing costs that are more than 30 percent of their income, and homelessness.
Building Changes continues to deepen its racial equity work to address disparities and disproportionality among youth and families at risk for homelessness. We are aligned with the Facing Race Report, which states:
While institutional racism is deeply embedded in our state, we believe that our legislature can take huge steps forward in achieving racial and economic justice by implementing the recommendations in this report. We urge lawmakers to join us in making Washington a just state for all.