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By Leiloni De Gruy, 04/13/2023

Everyone in LA Advocacy Town Hall Invites Executive Director Derek Steele and Others to Talk Homelessness in LA

The state of homelessness has been an ongoing issue in Los Angeles County. To add Black unhoused individuals add another complex layer to the challenge. 

Social Justice Learning Institute’s Executive Director Derek Steele was a panelist on Everyone in LA’s virtual Advocacy Town Hall discussing the state of Black equity and homelessness in Los Angeles. The purpose of the town hall was to hear advocacy updates from Los Angeles County Affordable Housing Solutions Agency (LACAHSA), a debrief of the Black Experience Action Team report and learn more about Miracle Messages, a nonprofit organization that helps unhoused people build their social support networks.

In 2022, the Los Angeles Housing Services Authority counted about 69,000 people were unhoused in Los Angeles County; however, about 12,000 were Black. Derek presented the contents of the “The Path to Justice Runs Through Equity: Ending Anti-Black Racism in Los Angeles” report, which details policy recommendations and initiatives to ensure Black Angelenos can live well and thrive. While the report is broken down into sections addressing employment, housing, education, mass incarceration, health and wellness, advocacy and policy, and environment, it also addresses the intersectionality, like the needs of the LGBTQIA2S+ and gender nonconforming communities.

The advocacy town hall focused on housing and how to reverse the Black exodus out of Los Angeles. Derek summarized the report and offered many solutions to the challenge of housing Black Angelenos, but one that stands out is to provide wrap-around services with affordable housing developments. “We can’t solve X, without solving Y.” By providing wraparound services, we are leveling the playing field in equity and giving a leg up to Black Angelenos in need.

The report was comprised in partnership with USC and UCLA, and in solidarity with the LAHSA Ad Hoc Committee on Black People Experiencing Homelessness and Los Angeles County’s Anti-Racism, Diversity and Inclusion Initiative.

Read the full report here:

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