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National Clearinghouse on Homeless Youth and Families

Racial Inequity and Homelessness: Findings from the SPARC Study.

Olivet, J., Wilkey, C., Richard, M., et al.
Type new
Journal Article
Year published new
Journal Name

The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science

Volume new

"This study examines racial inequities and homelessness in the United States through mixed methods research in eight communities. We compare the race and ethnicity of those experiencing homelessness to the general population and to people in poverty, and we also explore how race and ethnicity are associated with housing outcomes. Interviews with 195 individuals of color explore pathways into homelessness and drivers of outcomes. We find that Black/African Americans and Native Americans were the most overrepresented among those experiencing homelessness in each community, and interview data suggest that factors associated with homelessness for people of color include barriers to housing and economic mobility, racism and discrimination within homeless services, and involvement in multiple systems, including criminal justice. How race and ethnicity were associated with outcomes varied for youth, single adults, and families. We argue that researchers and policy-makers need to address homelessness with attention to racial justice.