Amid a worrying rise in the number of homeless veterans, the Veterans Health Administration is seeking to hire racial diversity consultants to help “transform” its homeless programs “into a racially equitable and just organization.”
“Creating racially equitable systems demands that systems not simply be diverse, but that they be explicitly anti-racist,” the VHA’s Homeless Programs Office (HPO) said in a contract opportunity document.
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The Department of Housing and Urban Development found an uptick in the number of homeless veterans in 2020 after the numbers had been declining for a decade, Military Times reported. More than 37,000 veterans did not have stable housing at the beginning of 2020.
The VHA, a branch of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), posted the contract opportunity for a veteran-owned small business or firm on April 27.
In this April 18, 2020, file photo, tents line a sidewalk on Golden Gate Avenue in San Francisco. A coalition in California is proposing legislation to boost taxes on wealthy multinational corporations to raise more than $2 billion a year to end homelessness. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
“In June 2020, following the continued spate of police violence against Black Americans, several HPO staff, as well as frontline VA medical center (VAMC) homeless programs social workers expressed a strong need and desire to confront the trauma and barriers such as inequitable access to housing and care, that systemic racism presented for Veterans and staff alike.
In response, the VHA HPO established the Racial Equity and Racial Justice Workgroup. The v
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