June 16, 2021

Day 7: Homelessness

DAY 7 Of YWCA Spokane’s 14-Day Racial Equity & Social Justice Challenge

We hope this challenge provides you with an opportunity to better understand concepts related to race, power, privilege, and leadership.

DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4 | DAY 5 | DAY 6 | DAY 7 | DAY 8 | DAY 9 | DAY 10 | DAY 11 | DAY 12 | DAY 13 | DAY 14

Thank you for taking this challenge! If this is your first day of joining us for the 14-Day Racial Equity & Social Justice Challenge, welcome. If you are returning after previous engagement with the challenge, nice work! We are glad you are here. Each weekday from Tuesday, June 8th through Friday, June 25th, YWCA Spokane will send those who sign up for our challenge emails prompting you to make time to learn about racial equity and social justice.

We encourage everyone to talk about what you are learning with friends, share on social media with #ywcaequitychallenge, and take time to reflect on your personal insights after each challenge using this reflection log. Consider joining our Racial & Social Justice Facebook Group to continue the conversation online and connect with others.

DAY 7: homelessness

What does homelessness have to do with racial equity? Structural racism, discrimination, and unconscious bias in housing and employment have led to an overrepresentation of racial minorities experiencing homelessness across the nation.

We tend to think that homelessness and housing insecurity are caused by poverty; that they are simply due to a person’s inability to pay rent. But consider the data: People of color are dramatically more likely than their white counterparts to become homeless — even when poverty rates are taken into consideration. In essence, homelessness is one of the most visible manifestations of racial inequity.

Homelessness also affects survivors of domestic violence at a disproportionate rate. In 2018, the city of Spokane found that 1 in 2 people experiencing homelessness were currently fleeing domestic violence (DV). Housing is the most common need for survivors of DV, and is often the most unmet need. YWCA shelters are a safe haven for families fleeing DV who should not have to choose between shelter and safety.


If you have…

5 Minutes


10 Minutes


30 Minutes

and and
Watch this video 
that unpacks the intersections between gender-based violence, racism, and homelessness.
and Read this article 
that breaks down Spokane’s point-in-time homeless count.
and Read this report
that discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened housing insecurity for people of color.

daily Reflection

Once you have completed today’s challenge, take a moment to reflect on any insights you experienced. How did the challenge make you feel? What is something you learned? Did you notice anything about yourself after taking the challenge? Consider sharing this new awareness with a friend or group to help deepen your understanding of the information. Consider tracking your reflections on the below daily log or joining our online Facebook group to encourage daily sharing with each other about the challenge topics.

Challenge Reflection Log

Share each challenge online with #YWCAEquityChallenge

DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4 | DAY 5 | DAY 6 | DAY 7 | DAY 8 | DAY 9 | DAY 10 | DAY 11 | DAY 12 | DAY 13 | DAY 14

Do you have resources you think we should share? Any insights you would like to share with us? We welcome you to leave your comments here. Thank you!

By: Rachel Dannen

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