New count reveals nearly 5,000 homeless on Oahu

Oahu has nearly 5,000 homeless people, according to a new count conducted by the city.

Oahu’s 2014 Point in Time Count identified a total of 4,712 homeless people on Oahu — 2,356 individuals and 2,356 people living in families, officials said. There was a slight decline in the number of homeless people living in families since last year, but a 7.3 percent increase in homeless individuals.

While the number of homeless individuals and families were exactly the same, 92 percent of Oahu’s homeless families were sheltered on the night of the count, while just 39 percent of homeless individuals, a total of 1,633, were sheltered — an 11.47 percent increase since 2013.

Download: Oahu’s 2014 Point in Time Count (.pdf)

There was also an increase in unsheltered chronically homeless individuals, going from 505 in 2013 to 558 this year. The PIT also revealed that a considerable segment of unsheltered chronically homeless people suffer from severe mental illness and/or substance abuse, afflictions that makes utilizing emergency or transitional shelters, most of which require treatment and sobriety as preconditions to admittance, problematic.

The count is based on the night of January 22, 2014 and utilized the Homeless Management Information Systems database to executive the count in a more organized, comprehensive manner, officials said. Even with the improvements to the count, there are likely more homeless persons than were counted, they added.

Each year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires a point-in-time count of homeless people on Oahu.

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