NEWS RELEASE: Governor announces an increase in the state’s homelessness program staffing and progress on short-term goalsPosted on Aug 25, 2015 in Latest Department News, Newsroom, Office of the Governor Press Releases
HONOLULU – Gov. David Ige today announced that Harold Brackeen III will join the homeless programs office on September 1 where he will assist with the administration of state and federal grants for shelters, outreach and other program activities. Brackeen is currently a program specialist with the department of human services, social services division. Prior to joining DHS, he was a housing director at Alternative Structures International and also served as a program coordinator with Hale Kipa, a program serving Hawai‘i’s youth.
The governor welcomed Scott Morishige, MSW, who officially moved into the governor’s office and began his duties as the governor’s coordinator on homelessness on Monday, August 24.
“The only way to solve homelessness in Hawai‘i is to invest in our team and build the state’s capacity in targeted ways. Both of these men bring solid skills and experience to the task, and they will work with our partners to help meet the challenges our communities face” said Gov. Ige.
The governor also announced that his Leadership Team on Homelessness and Partners in Care, a coalition of homeless service providers on O‘ahu, have worked together to move 28 people – five families and six single adults – off the streets of Kakaʻako and into shelters. This represents nearly 10 percent of the 293 people surveyed earlier this month.
Shelter space became available as families and individuals were able to transition into either permanent or longer-term transitional housing. A total of 27 people (four families and 13 single adults) from the Next Step shelter and the IHS shelter on Kaʻaʻahi Street have found homes.
“This movement of individuals and families from the streets into temporary shelters is significant because their lives have been changed for the better and because it demonstrates the positive outcomes we can achieve when the city and the state work together. Delayed enforcement in the area helped service providers move more people into shelters,” said Scott Morishige.
The Governor’s Leadership Team has also identified five state-owned portable buildings that can be used to provide temporary shelter for families. Locations for these buildings are currently being considered.