Combatting poverty and decriminalizing homelessness through a race equity lens

The Commission on Homelessness and Poverty’s resource clearinghouse

Poverty and homelessness in the United States are largely outgrowths of institutionalized racism. Inequity in housing, education, healthcare and wealth creation is inextricable from that which fuels police brutality, mass incarceration of Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (“BIPOC”), and the criminalization of poverty. Instead of addressing the inequities in those systems, our national, state, and local governments have tasked our criminal justice system to police and punish those who have suffered the most. As a profession, we must recognize our role in creating and perpetuating this system. 

This Commission was established to be the voice of the Association on matters related to homelessness and poverty and to fiercely advocate for the policies leading to their end. Consistent with that duty, we urge consideration of the resources on this page to assist in taking action equal to the moral imperative of the ongoing movement occasioned by the continued criminalization of homelessness and poverty and its disproportionate effect on BIPOC. 

Link to the full collection: Combatting Poverty and Decriminalizing Homelessness Through a Race Equity Lens

Year: 2020
Resource Type:
Alternatives to Criminalisation
Courts Systems
Fees and Fines
Human Rights
Petty Offences
Use of Public Spaces
North America
United States
People Groups:
People in Detention
People who use Drugs
People experiencing Homelessness or live in informal settlements
People affected by Displacement (including migrants and refugees)
People experiencing Poverty
Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC)
Sex Workers
Women and Girls
Policy Reform