All of us at HAP take ownership of the fact that, in various ways, HAP needs to immediately, sufficiently and meaningfully embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). This is in terms of our direct representation of those experiencing homelessness, as well as in terms of office staffing, policies, behaviors, and culture. Together, these issues have (1) limited the scope of policies that we have chosen to prioritize and advance and (2) inhibited our capacity to provide culturally competent legal services to all of those experiencing homelessness.
Moving forward, we can and will do more to live up to our mission of reducing the frequency and duration of homelessness for everyone. We owe it to our clients, our community, and our colleagues. To move us in this direction, we commit to the following principles, which recognize the immeasurable value of diversity and the urgent need for equity and inclusion. We intend to live up to these principles together, and where we come up short we ask and expect that members of our staff, board of directors, community members, and clients demand that we do better. We also ask that you, the reader of this statement, hold us accountable too.
- We commit to valuing everyone at HAP for their unique contributions to the organization.
- We commit to eradicating and protecting against staff practices that are unfair, inequitable, or non-inclusive.
- We commit to creating confidential channels of communication for staff members to raise and discuss concerns relating to equity or inclusion.
- We commit to developing recruitment and hiring processes that will allows us to increase diversity on our staff and board of directors.
- We commit to being vocal in our support of a world that is safe, fair, and equitable for everyone and not remaining silent in the face of systems and policies that perpetuate or exacerbate inequality.
- We commit to being mindful of the privileges we have been given, not abusing them, and using this awareness to help us remain committed and compassionate towards people who are unhoused.
- We commit to actively listening to our clients and trying to understand how they have been impacted by trauma in their lives.
- We commit to elevating the voices of our clients to promote broader change.
- We commit to implementing annual accountability measures that ensure we remain true to these commitments.