Informed by the Safety Net Resiliency Initiative and our community partners, the Foundation board and staff have reflected upon how the Foundation can more clearly demonstrate its commitment to dismantling structural inequities that disproportionately impact people of color, women, people with disabilities, the LGBTQ+ community, and others. We recognize that our work to strengthen the safety net system is incomplete without a foundation in achieving social and economic justice for marginalized and underserved communities.
Through our mission, vision, and guiding principles, we strive to make known the personal and professional commitment by staff and board to center social justice as core element of our work, our interactions, and our practices. We seek to advance this commitment through all we do- into our grantmaking through a strong focus on equitable systems change, through commissioned research projects, and in other ways.
As our journey continues to evolve, we recognize that our understanding of the Foundation’s role in advancing equity will change, too. We commit ourselves to continuing to grow our understanding of our roles in achieving greater social justice for underserved and marginalized communities, and to evolving the Foundation's practices to more effectively do the same. We intend to remain open and vigilant to opportunities and fully expect to deepen and foster new opportunities to advance to a more equitable and just community as we move forward.
Addressing Racial Disparities in Homeless Services
In partnership with the County's public-private partnership to end homelessness, Your Way Home, HealthSpark funded a groundbreaking racial equity evaluation of the homeless service system in 2018. Building on work from our national partners, this study helped to underscore the necessity of centering racial equity in the fight to end homelessness, and identified concrete recommendations for advancing equity in the sector moving forward. Click here to read the report.
Centering LGBTQ+ Voices
As part of its 2019 Innovation Lab, HealthSpark funded an LGBTQ+ Consumer Engagement Project to hear directly from LGBTQ+ persons on how to improve accessibility and inclusion in safety net services. This project hired and paid LGBTQ+ persons to interview their peers on how to improve services, and culminated in a set of written recommendations for advancing LGBT+ accessibility and inclusion. Read the report here.