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Monday, August 15, 2011
Abercrombie: 90-Day Homelessness Plan Comes to End
By News Release @ 12:47 PM :: 7593 Views :: Maui County, Education K-12, Energy, Environment

STATE CREATES UNPRECEDENTED LEVEL OF COOPERATION IN UNITED EFFORTS TO END HOMELESSNESS

90-Day Plan on Homelessness concludes lays groundwork for long-term solutions

News Release from www.Hawaii.gov/gov August 14, 2011

Honolulu – Governor Neil Abercrombie and his Coordinator on Homelessness, Marc Alexander, today concluded the 90-Day Plan on Homelessness, emphasizing the importance of the ongoing partnerships created as a foundation to ending homelessness in Hawai'i.

“We have seen unprecedented coordination and focus on homelessness in Hawai'i in the last 90 days, and this is just the beginning,” said Governor Abercrombie to residents of Next Step Shelter in Kaka'ako. “In order to succeed in this effort, we need to maintain our focus on long-term solutions that get people off the streets and into permanent housing. This will require persistent and coordinated action from government, the private sector, as well as the support of the public.”

The 90-Day Plan, which began on May 17 and ends tomorrow, was the catalyst for immediate collaboration and coordination among government, community groups, nonprofits, community and faith-based organizations, businesses, shelter and outreach services. The Hawai'i Interagency Council on Homelessness, created by Executive Order on July 19, will meet for the first time on August 25 to continue coordination efforts.

“Now that we made fast progress on key objectives with the 90-Day plan, we have to tackle the more difficult issues of increasing access to permanent supportive housing, workforce development and development of more affordable housing,” said Alexander. “The newly created Hawai'i Interagency Council on Homelessness will develop the long-range plan for our State that will lead us toward the goal of ending homelessness.”

Other important objectives achieved over the 90 days include:

  • More than 200 people from Waikiki and the urban core were moved from emergency shelters or the streets into transitional or permanent housing, including 40 vulnerable individuals. In the Wai'anae area, 85 people were moved into permanent housing.
  • On Maui, 65 people were moved from the streets or shelters into permanent housing.
  • On Kaua'i, 44 people were moved into permanent housing from the streets or shelters.
  • On Hawai'i Island, 136 people were moved into transitional or permanent housing.
  • Next Step Shelter in Kaka'ako expanded its hours to be open for individuals and families on the weekends.
  • The State’s first ever “safe parking” zone program has been implemented by Hope Services Hawai'i in their Hilo shelter, Kihei Pua.
  • Online resources and information have been updated, including a “wish list” and “volunteer opportunities” for the public in the various shelters that serve people who are homeless. See www.homeless.hpha.hawaii.gov, twitter.com/aloha4homeless, and www.hawaii.gov/homeless.
  • The Statewide homeless hotline system received over 500 calls and emails, and continues to receive calls daily. Through the hotline effort, over 130 were referred into housing resources. The hotline has also served as a means to connect service providers with one another.

The 90-Day Plan was led by Alexander and involved the following statewide organizations:

  • Bridging The Gap
  • Waikiki Health Center
  • City & County of Honolulu Department of Community Services & Office of Housing
  • Institute of Human Services
  • State Department of Human Services Homeless Programs
  • Wai'anae Community Outreach
  • Partners in Care
  • U.S. Vets
  • Housing and Urban Development, Hawai'i Region

Governor Abercrombie has stressed the critical role that the public can play in this effort. Call-in numbers have been established for citizens who want to help a person who is homeless or may need health and safety intervention. These helplines are:

  • Waikiki Health Center’s Care-A-Van Program on O'ahu: (808) 791-9359; homelesshelp@waikikihc.org
  • HOPE Services on Hawai'i Island: (808) 935-3050; info@hopeserviceshawaii.org
  • Family Life Center on Maui: (808) 877-0880; wanda@flcmaui.org
  • Kaua'i Economic Opportunity: call (808) 245-4077, x228; keo@keoinc.org

Persons wishing to help someone who may be suffering from homelessness must provide the following information:

  • The location and time when the homeless individual is known to frequent the area
  • A detailed description of the individual or group
  • The caller’s contact information

After a report is made, an outreach team will be assigned to visit the person. Emails and calls can be placed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Emails are preferred.

“What we’ve achieved so far was not easy, but we’ve seen measurable success because everyone came together to assist individuals who needed a hand,” said Governor Abercrombie. “We will be relentless in doing whatever it takes - in housing, in services, and in caring for one another - to end homelessness in Hawai'i.”

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Abercrombie’s 90-Day Plan: Take Credit for Homeless Shelters “doing the work they always have done”

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