We believe that ending homelessness is possible. We must address the systemic obstacles that stand in the way.
Black people disproportionately experience homelessness in our community and across the country. We know that this is a direct result of the racist policies and practices that create disparities in housing, incarceration, employment, education, and health care.
The recent murders of Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo are horrific reminders of the acts of police violence that are so commonplace for Black and Brown communities. People experiencing homelessness consistently report high levels of unhelpful police engagement, and for historically marginalized communities, these encounters too often lead to harassment, violence, or death.
We recognize the trauma caused by police involvement in marginalized communities and within our homeless response system. As a community, we commit to working together to remove police from the homeless response system and to invest in housing and services to communities most impacted by police brutality.
Last fall, the Alliance formed a Police Working Group to identify systemic issues that have created a culture of negative interactions with the police and people experiencing homelessness in suburban Cook County. The Police Working Group is educating police staff through discussions and training, building positive relationships between police and homeless outreach staff, and finding alternatives to police involvement to create a safer and more just environment for the people we serve.
We are committed to making sure the Alliance mission and strategy effectively cover both causes and solutions for homelessness. As a collective of organizations and individuals, our job is to uplift racial equity and housing justice to a place of absolute priority, and we are committed to doing so.
Alliance to End Homelessness in Suburban Cook County
Updated: April 21, 2021