Reaching out to essential workers and the most vulnerablePosted on May 29, 2020 in Capitol Connection, Featured
Who protects the protectors and their patients? For those who provide mental health services, the department of Health, Human Services, and the Behavioral Health and Homelessness Statewide Unified Response Group (BHHSURG) have been coordinating the distribution of donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) across the state. The Governor’s Coordinator on Homelessness and his team are part of this effort to ensure service providers are protected as well as filling the gaps for other needs.
On O‘ahu alone, 754 screenings of homeless individuals have been conducted in hospital emergency rooms, resulting in only 59 homeless individuals meeting the criteria for testing, and no homeless individuals testing positive. Additional screenings occur on a regular basis in encampments and emergency shelters statewide. In early May, staff teamed up with Leeward Coast outreach providers to deliver meals to individuals in encampments, and also worked with Honolulu providers for more outreach to homeless individuals near the State Capitol and in Iwilei. To learn more about efforts to address homelessness during the pandemic, as well as ways to help, please visit https://bhhsurg.hawaii.gov.