John F. Kennedy
Our goal at Family Promise of WNY is to end family homelessness - but we understand that is not possible without addressing equity issues at all levels. We acknowledge that our country has been built on systemic discrimination against black people and people of color, people who identify as LGBTQIA+, people with disabilities, women, and other minority groups. Fighting for equity means correcting imbalances within the system so as to give people what they need to enjoy full and healthy lives.
At Family Promise of WNY, we serve families of all compositions and welcome everyone in our community to come together to empower families as they work to find their way back home.
We condemn the unjust killings of black people by police and demand that society values the lives and humanity of black people as much as it values the lives and humanity of white people. It is impossible to separate systemic and structural racism from the reality that people of color, and black people in particular, are disproportionately affected by homelessness and poverty. Where disparities and inequities exist for other marginalized identities (LGBTQIA+, persons with disabilities, women, etc.), those disparities and inequities are magnified when coupled with the identity as a BIPOC individual. Family Promise of WNY is committed to being an anti-racist organization and will work towards a future where race no longer defines who has housing.
LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, +) individuals face unique challenges in the homeless system. Frequently, homeless LGBTQIA+ persons have great difficulty finding shelters that accept and respect them. They face social stigma, discrimination, and often rejection by their families, which adds to the physical and mental strains/challenges that all homelessness persons must struggle with. They are often at a heightened risk of violence, abuse, and exploitation. Transgender people are particularly at physical risk due to a lack of acceptance and binary systems. Family Promise of WNY is committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for all LGBTQIA+ persons who live and work here.
Trauma is an Equity Issue.
Homelessness is traumatic. People experiencing homelessness are in crisis, which is often compounded by a history of trauma in their lives. Some people, particularly women, may have histories including sexual, psychological, or physical abuse. Most families who are experiencing homelessness are headed by single women, and these women experience posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and substance use at a rate higher than the national average. Family Promise of WNY has made a commitment to be a trauma-informed organization so that we can best meet people where they are at.
Persons with disabilities are at an increased risk of becoming homeless. This is due to the prevalence of institutionalization, discrimination in access to services, inadequate housing and social supports, a lack of accessible and affordable housing stock and unaffordable rents.
Often, once housed, shelters are not set up to allow persons with disabilities to thrive.
Family Promise of WNY is committed to working creatively with persons with disabilities and making the accommodations needed to help them succeed.
Gender equity is a human right. The effects of sexism on institutional structures limit the employment opportunities available to women, the availability of caregiving supports, and access to public social assistance programs. This leads to higher rates of poverty among women compared with men - particularly women of color.
Family Promise of WNY is committed to empowering women with the support and opportunities they need to thrive.
We would like to acknowledge the land on which we live and work is the territory of the Haudenosaunee/Six Nations Confederacy. The confederacy, made up of the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas, was intended as a way to unite the nations and create a peaceful means of decision making. Through the confederacy, each of the nations of the Haudenosaunee are united by a common goal to live in harmony.