A woman overcoming unhoused conditions was surprised with an outpour of support after she tweeted that she needed money to buy additional items for her new apartment.
“Can’t believe I’ll be sleeping in my own apartment tonight. My homeless journey is almost over,” the woman, who identifies as Champagne Naki on Twitter wrote. “I don’t have a blanket or anything but idc cuz we in that bitch regardless.”
That’s when social media users flocked to the young lady’s comment section to offer help by donating gift cards and cash along with a few touching words of encouragement congratulating her on her new place.
“..Send me your Cashapp, or definitely make an Amazon registry so I can assist with your accomplishment. Congratulations!” wrote one Twitter user, while another person replied, “So happy for you I know the feeling, but you made it through! Don’t settle and don’t get too comfortable because you can never go back to being homeless again remember that! As hard as you went to get through that struggle, go 10x harder…it’s only from here.”
This young lady’s story rings true for so many African Americans who are often faced with unprecedented levels of homelessness across the United States. While Black people only make up 13 percent of the population, The National Alliance to End Homelessness states that the racial group accounts for “39 percent of people experiencing homelessness and more than 50 percent of homeless families with children.”
The startling realization can be attributed to housing discrimination practices that have been deployed against Black people since the 1960s. Redlining continues to prevent Black Americans from homeownership as well as the capital they need to access affordable mortgages and business loans to own property in Black and Brown neighborhoods. These effects still linger with us today as people of color are often forced to live in impoverished areas where there is limited access to quality health care, nutritious food, and better economic opportunities.
The situation was exacerbated during the pandemic as Black renters became particularly vulnerable to being unhoused after the Eviction Moratorium ended last month. Christian Wheeler, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, told Ebony back in August that “For this year, 2021, about 11 percent of white families were behind on their rent, compared to roughly 26 percent of African Americans who were behind on their rent.”
More than half of all African American’s either rent an apartment or a house which creates two problems, according to Wheeler.
“You have a lot more renters among African Americans, and many of those renters are struggling because of the disproportionate effect that the pandemic has had on Black households.”
A record number of job losses, lack of childcare, and health disparities have pummeled the Black community during this difficult time, but it’s stories like these that give you a glimpse of hope for humanity.