Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19th and known as Emancipation Day, is our opportunity to commemorate the day that Black slaves in Texas were granted freedom, two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1853.
Yet, nearly 170 years later, Black Americans still face systematic barriers such as the racial wealth gap and a long history of housing discrimination, which stem from slavery.
As New York City and State data demonstrate, homelessness is primarily hurting women and children of color, who are disproportionately impacted by domestic violence, overcrowding and evictions in a city with a dearth of affordable housing, and is an economic trauma that can trap a family in poverty and homelessness for generations.
In NYC, 95% of people experiencing homelessness in shelters identify as people of color.
When a family loses their home and ends up experiencing homelessness and moving into a shelter, the loss is cumulative and corrugating. The immediate stress and trauma of that dislocation can cause significant disruptions to work and school schedules (particularly when families are placed in shelters far from their home neighborhoods), such that less than half of all children who go into shelter graduate high school, placing them on a fast track to experiencing the kind of poverty that puts them at risk of homelessness as adults with their own families.
At The Partnership to End Homelessness, we believe homelessness is solvable — and the best way to solve it is to prevent it.
Together, let’s partner to make Juneteenth a step in the right direction, rather than a substitute for substantive action.