People of color, particularly Black and Latinx, continue to be disproportionately represented among people experiencing homelessness in Pasadena and across the country.
Black People Experiencing Homelessness
Homelessness is the most visible manifestation of longstanding systemic racism and persistent inequity in the housing sector. People of color, particularly Black and Latinx, continue to be disproportionately represented among people experiencing homelessness in Pasadena and across the country.
Structural and Institutional Racism
The intersection between race and homelessness extends far beyond the impact of poverty.
In Pasadena, 34% of our unhoused residents identify as Black or African American despite only representing 8% of Pasadena’s general population. While only 8% of all people in Pasadena identify as Black, 10% of all people living in poverty are Black.
Black people experiencing homelessness are more likely to indicate eviction as a precipitating event before falling into homelessness (18% vs. 12% for non-Black people), with the majority of those evictions occurring in Pasadena (63%). Further, Black people experiencing homelessness are more likely to have been in the foster care system than non-Black people (17% vs. 10%, respectively).
Growth in Unhoused Hispanic and Latino Community
Latinos comprise just under half (44%) of people experiencing homelessness compared to 33% of the general population, a disparity that has crept upward since 2020 prior to the pandemic.
Similarly, in Pasadena, Hispanic and Latino people are experiencing homelessness at disproportionate rates and are one of the fastest-growing segments of our unhoused population. In 2022, Hispanic and Latino people comprised 44% of people experiencing homelessness compared to 37% in 2020. This growth has resulted in an over-representation of Hispanic and Latino people experiencing homelessness compared to their share of the total general population (33%).
Hispanic and Latino peoples experiencing homelessness are much more likely to be families with children. While less than one-third of all families with children identified as Hispanic or Latino in Pasadena in the 2015-2019 American Community Survey, 55% of all families living in poverty were Hispanic or Latino. By comparison, 80% of families experiencing homelessness identified as Hispanic or Latino, demonstrating an ethnic disparity that cannot be explained by poverty alone.
The legacy of institutional racism in the housing market coupled with the historical lack of investment in communities of color has and will continue to have lasting humanitarian consequences.