I am a mental health outreach worker and I can absolutely attest to the connections poverty, educational opportunity, and incarceration have to race and racism. I work in two programs, one working with people experiencing homelessness and another working with people who have felony records.
One example is the percentage of my clients who are POC vs. white. About 41% of clients on my caseload are POC, which is much higher than our town's collective 22% POC population. This shows a disproportionate impact of poverty and incarceration on POC.
A second example is the type of housing that is offered to my clients experiencing homelessness. It is not uncommon for there to be lice outbreaks, cockroaches, and other pests. Mold can also be a common problem. They are often located near highways and freeways and therefore closer to pollution from transit. This speaks to both environmental racism and health disparities experienced by POC.
A third example is more specific to the way the mental health system and law enforcement interact. Many of my clients who are POC elect to not call the police despite having no other way to get help, whether it be for themselves or others. During the times I have seen my clients who are POC interact with the police, their disposition quickly changes - even if the police are responding in an appropriate way. They will often minimize their concerns, keep their head down and hunch over, and decline the assistance that is offered. And there usually isn't any viable alternative option to getting help. If only I could 911 requesting dispatch of a mental health professional, EMT, or some sort of community provider...
And these are just some examples.