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Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Honolulu: 40% of Homeless Refusing to Accept Shelter
By News Release @ 2:15 PM :: 5590 Views :: Honolulu County, Homelessness


News Release from Hawaii DHS, April 20, 2015

The 2015 Point in Time Count for the City and County of Honolulu has been completed. Its purpose is to obtain a reliable estimate of sheltered and unsheltered homeless population on Oahu. The date for this year’s count was January 25, 2015.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) Homeless Programs Office (HPO), City and County of Honolulu, and Partners in Care (PIC) collaborated to refine the methodology used for the count and worked with homeless service providers to assemble the necessary tools to capture the information. Neighbor island homeless population data is still being processed and will be available in May.

The number of homeless individuals on Oahu is 4,903, a 4% (191) increase over 2014. The percentage of those who are unsheltered is 40% (1,939), the highest percentage since these data were collected in 2009.

The percentage of those who were sheltered is 60% (2,964), the lowest percentage since 2009. Of the 191 additional homeless individuals counted on Oahu this year, 43% (82) are veterans.

The number of single individuals who were homeless is 2,563, an increase of 207 over last year. The percentage of single individuals who were sheltered was 35% (909), whereas the percentage of single individuals who were unsheltered was 65% (1.654).

The number of family members who were homeless was 2,340, a decrease of 16 family members over the same period. The percentage of homeless families who were sheltered was 88% (2,055), whereas the number of homeless families who were unsheltered was 12% (285). Of the 485 family households who were sheltered, 70% (340) were in transitional housing and 30% (145) were in emergency housing.

The number of homeless veterans on Oahu was 467, a 21% increase over 2014. The percentage of those veterans who were unsheltered was 49% (227), and the percentage of those sheltered was 51% (240). This increase is being met by additional funding and technical support from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and by improved community collaboration to end veteran homelessness by the end of the year.

“The local increases in veteran and chronic homelessness” says State Homelessness Coordinator, Colin Kippen, “demonstrate that President Obama’s United States Interagency Council on Homelessness federal plan to end homelessness (“Opening Doors”), the Hawaii Interagency Council on Homelessness (HICH) plan to end homelessness, the policies of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Veteran’s Affairs goal of ending veteran homelessness by the end of this 2015 and ending chronic homelessness by 2016 are appropriate.”

The number of chronically homeless individuals on Oahu was 779 individuals, a 19% (122) increase over 2014. “A key strategy of the Hawaii Interagency Council on Homelessness (HICH), Partners in Care (the continuum of care for Oahu) and the DHS Homeless Programs Office has been the creation of a coordinated entry, assessment and housing placement system to identify all individuals experiencing homelessness,” says Kippen. “To date, we have assessed over 2,900 individuals on Oahu and have plans to assess the remaining 2000 homeless individuals. The State Homeless Program’s Office is using this system to assess and triage chronically homeless individuals, including veterans, into its “Housing First” program.”

“We appreciate all the providers and community volunteers who participated in the 2015 Point in Time Count,” says Lori Tsuhako, Administrator of the DHS Homeless Programs Office. “The communities worked hard to design and implement a better coordinated survey system and the results prove that we’ve made systematic progress.”

For more information on Department of Human Services support services for homeless individuals and families, visit LINK.

For more information about the Hawaii Interagency Council on Homelessness, visit LINK.


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