Numbers released by the Hawaii Department of Human Services show that for the first time the number of homeless refusing shelter exceeds the number accepting shelter.
Between 2014 and 2015 the number of homeless accepting shelter dropped by 36 while the number of homeless refusing shelter soared by 702. This comes after a 515-person increase in the number of homeless refusing shelter between 2013 and 2014. A total of 1,217 homeless refusing shelter have been added to Hawaii's homeless population in the last two years.
Singles comprise 57% of the homeless population. Members of family units comprise 43%, underlining the importance of the nuclear family as a bulwark against deprivation. Underlining the point, only 185 homeless family households statewide were willing to abuse their children by refusing shelter. 77% of family households accept shelter while only 29% of singles accept shelter.
Here are the charts from page 7 of the 2015 Statewide Point in Time (PIT) count:
Table 1: Statewide PIT Summary 2011-2015
Table 2: 2015 Statewide Households Summary
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STATEWIDE HOMELESS ‘POINT IN TIME’ COUNT RELEASED
News Release from DHS, June 18, 2015
Honolulu – The Department of Human Services (DHS) Homeless Programs Office (HPO) has released the 2015 Statewide Point in Time (PIT) count, which represents a cross section of homelessness across O‘ahu and the neighbor islands. O‘ahu-only data were released in April 2015. This year’s statewide count of homeless individuals and families was conducted on Jan. 25, 2015.
The primary objective of the PIT count is to estimate the number of sheltered and unsheltered homeless individuals and families throughout Hawai‘i at a single point in time. The count allows service providers and the community to 1) accurately assess current levels of homelessness for various household types, 2) accurately estimate the number of chronically homeless individuals and families, and 3) evaluate the extent of homelessness among veterans and youth.
In 2015, Hawai‘i Island saw the total number of homeless individuals increase in both sheltered and unsheltered categories. The sheltered total increased 4 percent compared to 2014.
- In 2015, 62 percent of all homeless individuals on Hawai‘i Island were singles; 38 percent were in family units, up slightly since 2014.
- Eighteen percent of all homeless individuals and 30 percent of homeless families were sheltered.
- Forty-five percent of sheltered families resided in transitional housing facilities, while the remaining 55 percent resided in emergency shelters.
- Of all individuals who were part of a homeless family, 27 percent were sheltered in either emergency or transitional facilities.
Maui County showed an increase in both sheltered and unsheltered homelessness. The total of sheltered homeless individuals increased 12 percent compared to 2014.
- In 2015, 65 percent of all homeless individuals were singles; 35 percent were in a family unit.
- Forty-four percent of all homeless individuals and 78 percent of homeless families were sheltered.
- Eighty-six percent of sheltered families resided in transitional housing facilities, while the remaining 14 percent resided in emergency shelters.
- Seventy-four percent of all homeless family individuals were sheltered in either emergency or transitional facilities.
On Kaua‘i, there was a decline in the total number of homeless individuals.
- In 2015, 68 percent of all homeless were singles; 32 percent were in family units, a slight decline from 2014.
- Fifty-six percent of all homeless individuals and 59 percent of homeless families were sheltered.
- Of the sheltered families, 71 percent resided in transitional housing facilities, while the remaining 29 percent resided in emergency shelters.
- More than half (56 percent) of all homeless family individuals were sheltered in either emergency or transitional facilities.
“It is clear that we must collaborate with the counties to address the rising numbers of homeless individuals and families across the state. I fully support the Housing First Initiative and similar programs that provide transitional and permanent emergency housing, job training, referral services for mental illness and addiction and other social services,” said Gov. David Ige.
The Department of Human Services (DHS) Homeless Programs Office (HPO), City & County of Honolulu, Bridging the Gap (BTG), and Partners in Care (PIC) collaborated to refine the 2015 count methodology. The DHS is publishing the data on behalf of Bridging the Gap, the Continuum of Care for the neighbor islands.
“Providers and community volunteers worked hard to design and implement a better coordinated 2015 PIT survey system and the results prove that we’ve made systematic progress,” says Lori Tsuhako, Administrator of the DHS Homeless Programs Office. “While there is always room for improvement, operational counts are better and outreach workers are more effectively locating and assessing homeless individuals and families.”
The PIT count, the Hawai‘i Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), and the Homeless Utilization Report by the Center on the Family are combined with other data to help determine homelessness policy and funding.
For more information about programs and services for homeless individuals and families, and to read current and past Point in Time (PIT) reports, visit the Department of Human Services Homeless Programs Office website at http://humanservices.hawaii.gov/bessd/home/hp.