“In Los Angeles County, African Americans represent 7.9% of the population. In the latest homeless count, with double-digit city and county increases that are uniformly disappointing and disturbing, Black people make up 34% of the 66,000-plus total.” (Los Angeles Times).
This homelessness statistic conducted by the LAHSA 2020 Homelessness Count, was finalized in January of 2020, before the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It stated that Black people are “four times more represented among people experiencing homelessness than in the County population overall.”
The ongoing protests happening in Los Angeles and around the world against police brutality and systemic racism have brought more light to this glaring statistic, a statistic that we at St. Vincent de Paul see manifesting in our everyday duties, as our mission centers around serving the homeless and those in need.
In response to these injustices, St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles has released the following statement.
St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles stands unreservedly against racism in all its forms, individual and systemic. We stand in solidarity with those who oppose it, and in unity with those who call for justice. We affirm that equality for all communities matters. As Pope Francis said, “We must overcome all forms of racism, of intolerance and the instrumentalization of the human person.”
Our support for social justice is rooted deep in our Catholic understanding of the fundamental dignity of all life and our understanding that God is always on the side of justice for the oppressed in the human story (Matthew 25:35-40).
St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles has been serving this community and has been fighting for social justice since the beginning. We help our fellow neighbors in need regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation and will continue to serve and support our community with compassion and without judgment.
We unite our hearts, voices, prayers, presence, and action with those of people of goodwill in this community and around the globe in affirming that racism is unjust, not okay and we will not tolerate it.
St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles