Broward Housing Solutions (BHS) is committed to providing affordable housing for all low-income or homeless people with disabilities who also have a diagnosed mental illness. To emerge effectively, persistent prejudice, discrimination, and antagonism must be dismantled and renovated to create a tapestry of success and better quality of life for all.
The total number of sheltered and unsheltered persons experiencing homelessness in Broward County is almost 3,000. Founded in February 1993, BHS identified vulnerable populations in need of permanent and supportive (PSH) housing: Homeless families, Young Adults aging out foster care, chronically homeless veterans, seniors, and unaccompanied adults. Awarded creative and additional funding opportunities paved the way for BHS to house a greater number of at-risk folks, many whom have struggled with racial inequality.
In 2010-11, BHS housed an additional 27% homeless people; in 2017-18, 36% more unsheltered residents were housed decreasing homelessness in Broward County. Simply by providing affordable housing BHS played a pivotal role in preventing taxpayers from absorbing costs related to incarceration and hospitalizations to the tune of approximately $1.3M.
Regrettably, racial disparities in income are the result of historical and current discrimination, differences in educational attainment, wages, and employment rates. Blacks continue to have lower rates of upward mobility than whites. In 2016, the median black and Hispanic worker earned 65% and 63% of the median white worker, respectively. In 2018, the lowest-income black and Hispanic workers earned 54% and 66% of the lowest-income white workers.
Collaborations with community partners empower BHS to connect our jobless or low-income tenants with employment opportunities, job training and stabilization services to ensure that they remain housed. BHS’ objective of the racial equity initiatives is to eradicate these racial disparities once and for all.
BHS’ plan for racial equity is to amplify special training and education for Team BHS and our board of directors, to understand racism, history, and how it continues in our community. The goal is to maintain the educational series, understanding and putting into practice a variety of approaches to modify our delivery of services, housing programs, and ourselves – ultimately to reduce racism while amplifying cultural harmony and racial integration.