New Homeless Rules Designed to Shrink Shelters, Keep Homeless on the Streets
SA: …A new best practices system that stresses moving homeless people through shelters and into permanent housing at a brisk pace is seeing some success in mainland communities, but may well be too hurried for our islands.
Cities such as Houston are now making shelter stays more appealing to would-be homeless clients by remaining open around the clock, staffing social service workers who can help clients with problems, and often allowing pets.
Following suit are Hawaii Department of Human Services proposals that range from establishing a minimum-sized sleeping area to limiting contact between adults and children in dining areas, common areas, bathrooms and sleeping areas. Plus, a proposed rule would require 50 percent of each shelter’s clients to leave within 30 days, with half of them moving into permanent housing.
Aspirational goals? Yes. Realistic? No….
A bill passed by state lawmakers earlier this year (Act 234) establishes minimum standards for shelter operations. In written testimony on the measure, Gov. David Ige warned: “Though the bill seeks to make shelters more appealing and responsive to the needs of homeless families and individuals, it may prove difficult to implement” as yet-to-be-determined costs “put stress and uncertainty on the providers.”
Indeed. Operators representing eight of state’s largest homeless shelters complained to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser last week that the proposals, which would apply to new shelter contracts in place Feb. 1, set the stage for the state to micromanage unfunded mandates.
Among the proposals is a requirement that each sleeping area must be at least 10 square feet. For Waikiki Health’s Next Step Shelter in Kakaako where the space is set at 6 square feet, the increase would mean losing 100 of its 230 beds.
While the larger sleep area could make the shelter more inviting, it could thwart homeless sweeps. (Solve homelessness by keeping the homeless homeless. The soft on homelessness crowd slipped its agenda into Act 234.) The availability of beds is a key part of ongoing clearings conducted by county and state officials, who check with shelters to make sure there are enough beds to comply with court rulings that people caught up in them have a safe place to go….
read … Keep the homeless, homeless
HPR Runs Big Billy Kenoi Fluff-Piece to Help Him Prepare for Next Campaign
HPR: Mayor Kenoi faced a personal challenge, with the State’s Attorney taking him to trial for theft, based on use of the county purchasing card. Twelve jurors acquitted Kenoi of all charges.
Kenoi: “all lessons are lessons learned, and an opportunity to be better. I’m so thankful to a great group of people who stayed focused and so proud of Takako and the kids, I’m very thankful for this Hawai'i Island community. When somebody makes serious allegations it’s offensive, and you challenge it. That opportunity to have the truth laid out… to be judged not guilty… I’m humbled to have experienced that process.”
(Try not to laugh. He will be running for higher office soon.)
read … Mayor Billy Kenoi Says Aloha
Federal corrections officer accused of lying about alleged prison affairs
HNN: A former corrections officer at the Honolulu Federal Detention Center is accused of having physical relations with two inmates and lying about it.
Thirty-one-year-old Diego Contreras of Haleiwa is accused of romancing two women prisoners, which is illegal. Both women were released from the detention center in April.but Contreras allegedly continued his relationships with them.
An investigator said she uncovered records of more than one hundred phone calls between that woman and numerous emails he sent under an alias to both inmates.
AP: Hawaii DPS Officials Study Cushy New Prison in Idaho
read … Accused