Homeless in Hawai’i County

October 15, 2015
6pm   -   8pm
West Hawai'i Civic Center, Council Chambers

The Department of Human Services (DHS) Point in Time 2015 Survey Results indicate an overall 30% increase in homelessness in Hawai’i County from 2014.  

Hear experts discuss the problem, challenges, and solutions for homeless individuals and families in our community.

The growing problem of homelessness affects all of Hawai’i.  State and County resources are stretched beyond their capacity to deal with the problem.

Is creation of new low-income housing the solution or is more needed?

Who will pay for Hawai’i’s growing homeless population?  How will decisions we make today impact the future of homelessness?

Are other state’s providing their homeless populations a one-way ticket to paradise?

What are our best options for addressing homeless families versus homeless individuals?

What are the social, environmental, and economic impacts of homelessness on Hawaii, and specifically, the County.

Can Hawai’i slow or stop the growth of homelessness within its borders?

Hear from County officials and independent experts about their assessment of the homeless problem and the possible range of solutions.

Come along and join the discussion:

  • The key barriers affecting access to housing for the most disadvantaged in our community.
  • Assessment of gaps in services.
  • Increase community engagement and support for preventing and ending homelessness




Oct. 16, 2015

HONOLULU – Gov. David Ige today signed an emergency proclamation that enables the state to quickly funnel money toward the facilitation of: (1) rapid construction of a temporary shelter for homeless families; (2) the immediate extension of existing contracts for homeless services; and (3) an immediate increase in funding for programs that promote immediate housing.

State funds of more than $1.3 million were identified this month, paving the way for the emergency proclamation. The monies will serve an additional 1000 homeless individuals between now and July 31, 2016, providing increased funding for homeless services and programs that promote permanent housing for families and the chronically homeless.

The emergency proclamation will also facilitate the construction of a transitional housing facility for homeless families. The facility will be temporary and have a clear sunset date.

The state, city, federal governments and various service providers have worked together to place 158 individuals and 25 families from Kaka‘ako into shelters since the effort began in early August. That’s 54 percent of homeless individuals surveyed in Kaka‘ako in early August and more than 80 percent of the families surveyed.

“The lesson learned is that great things can be accomplished when we all work together. Despite the recent success of enforcement efforts in the Kaka’ako Makai area, homelessness remains a serious issue in every county throughout the state. We plan to replicate the Kaka’ako model as we work to address homelessness in communities across the state,” said Gov. David Ige.

“There’s still much work to do. Hawai‘i has the highest rate of homelessness per capita among the 50 states, with an estimated 465 homeless individuals per 100,000. The alarming increase in unsheltered individuals and families over the past two years is particularly significant on O‘ahu. This proclamation will expedite the state’s plans to help these individuals and families to more quickly transition to permanent housing,” said Scott Morishige, Governor’s Coordinator on Homelessness.

This forum took place on October 15, 2015, at 6pm at West Hawai'i Civic Center, Council Chambers.

The event's featured speakers were:

Brandee Menino
HOPE Services Hawaii
Greg Payton
Mental Health Kokua
Mitch Roth
County of Hawaii
Susan Akiyama
County of Hawaii
Vance Rodrigues
HOPE Services

Subject Support Materials

Please see support material for this subject Forum.

Forum Session Video

View the recorded session here:

1 reply
  1. Elizabeth Naholowaa Murph
    Elizabeth Naholowaa Murph says:

    Catholic Charities Hawaii’s Housing and Referral Programs are aimed at preventing homelessness. We help eligible applicants to remain housed or become newly housed by providing emergency housing funds for overdue rent, an overdue utility bill, rental security deposit or first month’s rent. We help with applications for assistance and with referrals to callers and clients by linking them with available services in the community. Our sister agency, HOPE Services Hawaii, focuses on individuals and families who are already homeless. With a homelessness preventive core focus, Catholic Charities Hawaii is able to work in sync with HOPE Services Hawaii to address our at-risk and unsheltered population without duplicating efforts. For questions about the services offered by Catholic Charities Hawaii on the Big Island, contact Elizabeth Murph at 961-7051 or elizabeth.murph@catholiccharitieshawaii.org. Mahalo nui loa.


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