HCEF Response to Current Events
Like many organizations the Homeless Children’s Education Fund (HCEF) is struggling with the recent acts of racism and violence towards the Black community. Racial inequality has troubled this country for the past several hundred years and, unfortunately, it seems things are slow to change. The recent killing of George Floyd, other tragic events, and the nationwide protests and conversations since have highlighted the continued systemic inequalities for Blacks in law-enforcement, housing, education and healthcare.
HCEF is all too familiar with these issues. Many of the people we serve are in their current situations due to these systemic inequities.
We see it every day.
Those we serve feel it every day.
Mothers who cannot provide shelter for their children are humiliated by it every day.
Kids who don’t have a permanent home are embarrassed and traumatized by it every day.
Students who don’t have the supplies and resources they need to learn become more discouraged and frustrated by it every day.
Our mission is to advance the education of children experiencing homelessness, guiding them to become productive and empowered citizens. Our mission is further complicated, however, by these larger cultural issues.
• Risk of homelessness is 83% higher for Black youth¹
• White students are 5X more likely to be accepted for gifted programs in Pittsburgh²
• 77.4% of Black students in Pittsburgh graduate high school compared to 87.2% of White students³
• 75-80% of HCEF program participants are Black or Multicultural
The State of Pennsylvania’s structure for funding education fundamentally discriminates against lower income communities.
The Board of Directors and staff of HCEF are committed to helping our children and youth overcome barriers to education caused by homelessness.
We are committed to being proactively anti-racist, to doing the hard work, and having the difficult conversations that will continue to move our community and our world toward equity and justice for all. We stand on the side of love and respect for all people. We choose action over silence to change the racial inequities affecting our Black communities.
We ask you to join us.