Reducing homelessness with new approaches

Posted on Jan 4, 2017 in Main

• Focused efforts produce results – Focusing our efforts to make sure the right kinds of services get to the people who need it most has been a goal of my administration, and we’re seeing results. Statewide, over 5,000 people have transitioned off the streets or maintained their housing — a more than 50 percent increase over last year. $12 million from the 2016 state Legislature is being deployed for health and human services, public safety, and data gathering — with half of the Housing First resources going to the neighbor  islands.

Gov. Ige, DHS director Pankaj Bhanot and state homelessness coordinator Scott Morishige with staff at the new Family Assessment Center in Kaka’ako.

• Kaka‘ako homeless population reduced – More than 290 homeless people from the area were placed into shelters or housing. A new Family Assessment Center, focused on homeless families with children, opened in September 2016 and is connecting  families to housing and other services in 90 days or less. The first family was placed into permanent housing in 21 days.

• Hundreds of at-risk families helped through AUW partnership – I think we   must find better ways to help homeless families, the elderly and veterans living on our streets. That’s why we launched this public-private partnership between the state Department of Human Services and Aloha United Way. So far, 3,410 people have received financial help — many of whom were just one paycheck away from homelessness.” This partnership is having a “huge, huge impact,” said Maj. Mark Gilden of the Salvation Army. “It shows how just  a little bit of help now can prevent a huge mess later.”

• First Landlord Summits held – A new partnership between the Hawai‘i Association of Realtors and the governor’s office is encouraging apartment owners to rent to low-income families and those who are homeless.

• More public housing units available – A new “extreme makeover,” multi-skilled team approach is renovating public housing units faster.