NEWS RELEASE: Partners in Care assists Governor Ige’s Leadership Team on Homelessness

Posted on Aug 17, 2015 in Latest News, Newsroom, Press Releases

HONOLULU – Gov. David Ige and Partners in Care, Oʻahu’s coalition of providers serving homeless people, announced the results of the most recent survey of homeless people in Kakaʻako.

Conducted by the Kalihi-Palama Health Center and Waikīkī Health, the survey was undertaken the week of August 3. The surveyors noted that the encampment in Kakaʻako includes individuals, families and youth living in a substantial, permanent community.

Populations Present

  • 293 total surveyed
  • 169 single adults
  • 31 family households (124 persons)
  • 35.7% report they do not have a picture I.D. or other form of identification (birth certificate or Social Security card) necessary for shelter and public healthcare programs

Housing Options

  • 78% report they are willing to go into shelter
  • 40% (67 persons) appear eligible for Housing First or other permanent supportive housing interventions

Monthly Income Levels

  • $320 average income for a single adult
  • $587 average income for a family household

“The non-profit providers that comprise Partners in Care have been working diligently to assist homeless individuals and families, and they are helping the state and county with creative, innovative housing strategies,” said Gov. Ige.

“The shortage of affordable housing units and insufficient income is a primary reason why many of the homeless people live on the streets.  They’re not necessarily there by choice, but rather forced to be there due to the limited housing options available to them,” said Jason Espero, director of Waikīkī Health Care-A-Van program.

“Hawai‘i is in the unique economic situation where there is simply not enough ready or available affordable housing for the number of people in Kakaʻako, let alone the total number of individuals and families living in similar situations in other areas on O‘ahu,” said Leslie Uyehara, director at Kalihi-Palama Health Center’s Health Care for the Homeless Project.

“Even when people are working, the income levels of homeless households is not enough to cover the cost of housing in Hawai‘i. People are falling into homelessness faster than expected,” said Greg Payton, chair of Partners in Care.

Partners in Care is O‘ahu’s Continuum of Care as defined by the HUD Hearth Act. PIC is a coalition of 30 non-profit providers on O‘ahu whose collective mission is to end homelessness on O‘ahu.

Kalihi-Palama Health Center (KPHC) is an independent, 501 (c) (3) non-profit, organization that plays a crucial role in the Kalihi-Palama community as a provider of health and social services to patients who typically face significant barriers when accessing health care. KPHC is located in the heart of Kalihi-Palama; an urban, inner-city community that is home to approximately 63,820 residents, many of whom are poor, Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Island ethnic minorities. KPHC serves more than 20,000 patients annually.

Waikīkī Health is the state’s oldest Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) operating as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization since 1967.  The health center operates six clinic sites across the Waikīkī/Kakaʻako/Moiliili/Kaimuki areas, responding to the crucial needs of the most vulnerable population living in those areas. Waikīkī Health provides medical, dental, behavioral and social services to anyone regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay.  Last year, the health center provided 38,887 Primary Care visits to 10,030 unduplicated patients, with 60 percent of those patients living below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).  Forty-eight percent were covered under Medicaid, nine percent under Medicare, 18 percent were covered under private insurance, 25 percent were uninsured and 21 percent were homeless.

The governor’s leadership team also revealed it is looking at a Hawai‘i Community Development Authority maintenance shed in Kakaʻako for use as a possible temporary homeless shelter.  Link to HCDA photos:

Link to entire media briefing:


Media Contacts:

Greg Payton
Chair, Partners in Care
C/O Mental Health Kokua

Jodi Leong
Deputy Communications Director/Press Secretary
Office: 808-586-0043
Mobile: 808-798-3929

Cindy McMillan
Communications Director
Office: 808-586-0012
Mobile: 808-265-7974