The nearly 570,000 people experiencing homelessness on any given night, especially the 210,000 people forced to live outside, face greater risks of exposure to the coronavirus. They are more likely to interact with the police and face citations, arrests, and incarceration. And, because of historical and systemic racism in housing, employment, and the criminal justice system, Black, Indigenous, and Latinx people are significantly overrepresented in the homeless population. This frequent police interaction can trap people in a homelessness-jail cycle, rotating in and out of jails and public safety net services such as shelters, emergency rooms, and detox facilities. Evidence shows the homelessness-jail cycle and punitive police responses do not help people get the services they need or find housing stability, and they do not improve public safety. When housing and justice agencies work together, they can better address homelessness and better serve their communities. Connecting people with the housing and services they need can reduce police interaction with people they frequently encounter on the streets and reduce jail stays, and helping formerly incarcerated people find stable housing can reduce homelessness. #racialequity #homelessness
Communities Can Better Prevent Homelessness through Housing- and Justice-System Partnerships
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