LAHSA condemns the actions by the individuals that led to the death of George Floyd on Monday, May 25, 2020. This is heartbreaking to the entire nation and, especially, for the Black Community. This incident is a sobering reminder that racism and bias continue to plague our nation and, many times, has devastating outcomes. While the world is navigating great uncertainty, loss, and fear due to the COVID-19 pandemic, recent and repeated instances of violence against Black people has led to widespread protests and generated national concern. Constant depictions of these incidences have a profound impact on emotional and psychological well-being, and we recognize that these emotions can take a toll on all of us but, particularly, among people most affected.
In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends”—and LAHSA will not be silent. It is these types of social injustices that lead to the perpetuation of homelessness, and this is the reason our role in LA county to advance racial equity is so crucial. Racism is real. Hate is real. Fear is real. Our LAHSA values of accountability, collaboration, compassion, equity, and integrity will guide us on our path to ensure racial equity is at the forefront of housing opportunities across Los Angeles.
We cannot address homelessness without simultaneously addressing institutional and structural racism. We remain steadfast and committed to dismantling structural racism and discrimination as we lead LA City and County’s efforts to eradicate homelessness. We do this through systemwide examination aimed at unpacking, naming, and eliminating the racism that has been embedded for centuries. This work is guided by the tireless work of the Ad Hoc Committee on Black People Experiencing Homelessness and our commitment is reinforced through continued education and training, data transparency, and addressing policies that perpetuate inequities. We do this through listening and engaging people with lived experience and our partners on the front line to guide our decision-making and take action to make change. We see you. We hear you.
We stand in solidarity with the Floyd family, the Black Community, and other Americans who are taking action to root out racism across our nation. Centering on our commitment to ensuring the sanctity and dignity for all.
We can and must do better—together.