As a mission-driven small business focused on advancing racial, economic, and environmental equity, Cloudburst works alongside communities to meet this challenge in a variety of ways. A big part of how we do this is by addressing homelessness with clients at all levels of government.
Most marginalized groups make up a disproportionate share of the homeless population in the United States.¹ For example, Black people constituted 45 percent of the homeless population while representing only 13 percent of the total population.² As partners in and agents of change, Cloudburst aims to acknowledge, identify, and eliminate the barriers that contribute to racial disparities in access to housing and services.
Through our work at the national level with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as well as our efforts with state and local communities, we are committed to actionable, holistic strategies to improve housing and service system outcomes for Black, Brown, Indigenous, and all other people who experience homelessness.
In partnership with HUD, Cloudburst has brought together homelessness service leaders and clients with lived experience of homelessness to analyze system data, including prioritization criteria, for equitable outcomes to reach the most vulnerable community residents, create standing forums for stakeholder input, and reimagine service systems to promote both equity and efficiency.
For HHS, Cloudburst is helping to expand the reach and impact of culturally relevant services by working with grantees funded under the American Rescue Plan Family Violence and Prevention Services Act to increase supports available to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. This includes addressing related public health concerns and promoting strategic partnerships to better target services to racial and ethnic minority communities and groups as well as underserved populations as a whole.
Cloudburst also conducted a Homeless Needs and Gaps Assessment for Clallam County Washington Health and Human Services. We applied an equity lens to the mix of services currently being funded by the county and identified gaps for specific subgroups (including persons with disabilities) and disparate outcomes for people of color.
A recent project in Indiana viewed housing issues from a financial angle. Cloudburst helped the State of Indiana prioritize domestic violence rapid rehousing (RRH) funding for new grassroots organizations to increase spending, provider equity, and client access to housing programs through organizations that served people of color and other marginalized groups.
Cloudburst assisted in a massive exploratory data analysis on the determinants of homelessness. Our staff reviewed more than 600 local racial equity assessments, including an analysis of the actions being taken in localities, to illuminate the nature and extent of racial inequity in homeless service systems and the steps being taken to resolve them.
Cloudburst proudly stands with our clients, partners, and colleagues. We recognize that this is just the beginning, and there’s much work to be done. Cloudburst is committed to dismantling systemic racism and continuing to look for new opportunities to make actionable changes to help improve the quality of life for persons of color across the United States.