Rooting homelessness research in racial equity

Rooting homelessness research in racial equity & lived experience

Researchers with the Providence Center for Outcomes Research and Education (CORE) partnered with the Regional Supportive Housing Impact Fund and its partners and convenor to provide a framework for equitable evaluation and governance.

The Regional Supportive Housing Impact Fund (RSHIF) was launched in 2020 by a set of Portland-area partners in health systems, homelessness services, business, and philanthropy. The program seeks to respond to the growing need for Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) for people experiencing homelessness with serious health care needs in the Portland metropolitan region.

Recognizing that homelessness in the region disproportionately impacts Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC), RSHIF convener Health Share of Oregon and other RSHIF partners sought to answer a key question: What does it look like for homelessness research and evaluation practices to be centered on or rooted in racial equity and people who have lived experience with homelessness?

The Center for Outcomes Research and Education (CORE) and Portland State University’s Homelessness Research & Action Collaborative worked together to explore this question through interviews with community members plus a literature review and environmental scan that drew on Portland State University’s practice-based research experience in racial equity in the region.

Across the interviews and literature review, we found broad agreement on how to engage in community centered, participatory research and governance. A corresponding report provides a framework and specific recommendations for governance, research and evaluation work that centers BIPOC and people who have lived experience with homelessness.

The report also acknowledges that while this is a significant challenge for historically white institutions, centering on the people who are most impacted by the issue or the future program creates better policy and program outcomes. 

Read more at PSU’s website


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