Like you, our hearts are heavy today. The past week has been fraught with so much emotion—sadness over the loss of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd; anger toward the repeated disregard for Black lives; fear for those who risk so much to protest, especially in the midst of a health crisis; and commitment to racial justice.
Our community is mourning, and our city is on fire. Many say that the system is broken. In truth, it was never right to begin with—it was built to oppress and disenfranchise. It’s not enough to burn it down. We also have to build the world we want to live in.
Rosie’s Place was founded with a commitment to social justice that informs all we do today. We work to fill the gaps in systems that for years have been inadequate to meet our guests’ most essential needs, especially our guests of color. Institutionalized racism has resulted in food insecurity, lack of access to education, housing, and health care, a biased criminal justice system, and low wages. Sadly, these gaps have only continued to widen over our 46-year history.
And the COVID-19 outbreak has laid bare the widespread inequities in our country—and in our nation’s complacency in accepting them. Communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic with higher unemployment, infection and mortality rates. And those who are homeless have been especially hard hit. The pandemic has not created a crisis in services for poor and homeless women and men—it has undeniably exposed one that already existed.
Apathy can no longer be an option. If we are to remake the world in an image that reflects and respects all of us, we need to stand up and stand together against hatred and bigotry. We know we can’t do this alone. Our founder Kip Tiernan said, “The journey to justice can only be made in the company of others.” Thank you for walking alongside us.