HUD’s Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs (SNAPS) announced an updated version of its Continuum of Care (CoC) “CoC Analysis Tool: Race and Ethnicity” on August 25. SNAPS, which is in the Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD), writes that the coronavirus crisis has surfaced and made worse long-standing race and ethnicity disparities in homelessness and housing instability. SNAPS indicates that the tool can help analysis of racial disparities among people experiencing homelessness, and that such an analysis is a critical first step in identifying and changing racial and ethnic bias in CoC systems and services.
The tool is an Excel sheet with various bar charts. After a user selects their CoC, the first bar chart shows racial distributions for all people living in poverty, people experiencing homelessness, and people experiencing unsheltered homelessness. By comparing racial distributions between persons experiencing homelessness and persons experiencing poverty, it is possible to identify racial disparities in homelessness that poverty alone cannot account for. The bar charts also include the racial distribution for individuals in families with children who were experiencing homelessness. The charts in the center and on the right show the racial disparities for youth and veterans experiencing homelessness, respectively. The next set of charts displays the distribution of Hispanic and Non-Hispanic groups in the same configurations, enabling a comparison between rates of poverty and rates of homelessness among singles, families, youth, and veterans.
SNAPS notes that the tool can help communities identify disparities in who experiences homelessness in their CoC but does not shed light on how the homeless service system is serving communities of color. The “CoC Analysis Tool Overview” links to “Racial Disparities in Homelessness in the United States” from the National Alliance to End Homelessness and “How to Start Addressing Racial Disparities in Your Community” from the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness.
In an email announcing the updated tool, SNAPS notes that once communities have reviewed their quantitative data, they should seek input from people with lived experience and people representing the underserved population groups to understand how disparities are being experienced and design strategies to improve equitable access and outcomes.
The updated “CoC Analyiss Tool: Race and Ethnicity” is at: https://bit.ly/2QuZzOZ
The “CoC Analysis Tool Overview” is at: https://bit.ly/32shag6
The actual “CoC Analysis Tool 2.1” is at: https://bit.ly/3gwrZCE
More about CoC-related programs is on page 4-82 of NLIHC’s 2020 Advocates’ Guide.