COHHIO stands in solidarity with the protestors demanding justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, as well as so many other Black Americans killed by police, many of them in Ohio. We remember and honor Julius Tate Jr., John Crawford, Tamir Rice, Henry Green, and Tyre King, among others who lost their lives to the violence of racism, systemic inequality, and police brutality in recent years.

COHHIO recognizes that to solve the crisis of racial inequality, issues that relate to and impact our work to combat housing insecurity and homelessness, we must center the voices, needs and aspirations of the Black community in our strategies.

The coronavirus pandemic illustrates the intimate connection between health and home. The virus also highlights deep racial inequities that result from so many years of discriminatory housing and lending policies in our country. African-Americans are far more likely than whites to experience housing insecurity and homelessness. African-Americans are more likely to work in low-wage industries that have been hardest hit by recent job layoffs. And African-Americans are more likely to die from COVID-19. These fundamental injustices go to the heart of the civil unrest we now see erupting in cities throughout the U.S.

COHHIO’s Racial Equity Committee has prepared guidance for emergency shelter providers supporting Black and Brown Ohioans in our shelters during the COVID-19 pandemic. A key recommendation is: avoid calling law enforcement for all non-essential dispute resolution.

This guidance is available at:

COHHIO is donating to groups involved in fighting for civil rights and racial justice. We encourage individuals and organizational members to give what they can to support of the movement and our ongoing fight systemic inequality. Amid the virulence of two infectious diseases, entrenched racism and COVID-19, the underlying conditions that contribute to the deathly risk of being Black in America, we must and we can do better.

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