A national network of funders supporting strategic, innovative, and effective solutions to homelessness

National Housing Advocates Statement on Policing and Black Communities

Funders Together to End Homelessness joins other national housing advocates to support Black people and Black organizers who are working on housing justice.


As organizations dedicated to ending America’s homelessness and housing crisis, we stand in support of Black people and the Black organizers who are working on housing justice including the Movement for Black Lives, Moms 4 Housing, and others during this time of reckoning and transformation. We echo their demands to divest from criminal legal systems and invest in Black communities.

The injustice of homelessness cannot be decoupled from the legacy of centuries of systemic racism. The white supremacy and racism that devalue Black lives in the context of policing are the same that make Black people more likely to experience homelessness. Black Americans make up 13% of the population, but represent 40% of people experiencing homelessness. Any meaningful response to homelessness moving forward must address racism as a fundamental root cause.

Re-envisioning public safety also creates an opportunity to reshape how communities support their neighbors struggling with housing. Criminalizing homelessness and investing in police as a front-line response to homelessness only opens the door to more brutality and discrimination and worsens the devastating effects that police have in Black and brown communities. Instead, these funds could be used to create thriving communities with affordable, accessible housing. We applaud communities already taking steps to end this, and we look forward to supporting any that are committed to centering equity and racial justice in their work to end homelessness.

We commit to using our platform and resources as national organizations to dismantle racist institutions, advance just policies, and amplify Black voices and solutions. Because #BlackLivesMatter and because it’s the only way to truly solve America’s homelessness and housing crisis.

View the PDF version of the statement here.

We joined Funders Together because we believe in the power of philanthropy to play a major role in ending homelessness, and we know we have much to learn from funders across the country.

-Christine Marge, Director of Housing and Financial Stability at United Way of Greater Los Angeles

I am thankful for the local partnerships here in the Pacific Northwest that we’ve been able to create and nurture thanks to the work of Funders Together. Having so many of the right players at the table makes our conversations – and all of our efforts – all the richer and more effective.

-David Wertheimer, Deputy Director at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Very often a lack of jobs and money is not the cause of poverty, but the symptom. The cause may lie deeper in our failure to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities, in a lack of education and training, in a lack of medical care and housing, in a lack of decent communities in which to live and bring up their children.

-President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964 State of the Union Address

Funders Together has given me a platform to engage the other funders in my community. Our local funding community has improved greatly to support housing first models and align of resources towards ending homelessness.

-Leslie Strnisha, Vice President at Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland

Our family foundation convenes local funders and key community stakeholders around strategies to end homelessness in Houston. Funders Together members have been invaluable mentors to us in this effort, traveling to our community to share their expertise and examples of best practices from around the nation.

-Nancy Frees Fountain, Managing Director at The Frees Foundation

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