Unsheltered homeless population increases on Oahu

According to a city report released Monday, the number of unsheltered homeless increased over 2014.

The purpose of the 2015 Point in Time Count for the City and County of Honolulu was to put together a reliable estimate of sheltered and unsheltered homeless population on Oahu. The date for this year’s count was January 25, 2015.

The number of homeless individuals on Oahu is 4,903, a 4 percent (191) increase over 2014. The percentage of those who are unsheltered is 40 percent (1,939), the highest percentage since these data were collected in 2009.

The percentage of those who were sheltered is 60 percent (2,964), the lowest percentage since 2009. Of the 191 additional homeless individuals counted on Oahu this year, 43 percent (82) are veterans.

The number of single individuals who were homeless is 2,563, an increase of 207 over last year. The percentage of single individuals who were sheltered was 35 percent (909), whereas the percentage of single individuals who were unsheltered was 65 percent (1.654).

The number of family members who were homeless was 2,340, a decrease of 16 family members over the same period.  The percentage of homeless families who were sheltered was 88 percent (2,055), whereas the number of homeless families who were unsheltered was 12 percent (285). Of the 485 family households who were sheltered, 70 percent (340) were in transitional housing and 30 percent (145) were in emergency housing.

The number of homeless veterans on Oahu was 467, a 21 percent increase over 2014. The percentage of those veterans who were unsheltered was 49 percent (227), and the percentage of those sheltered was 51 percent (240). The city reports that this increase is being met by additional funding and technical support from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and by improved community collaboration to end veteran homelessness by the end of the year.

The number of chronically homeless individuals on Oahu was 779 individuals, a 19 percent (122) increase over 2014.

“A key strategy of the Hawaii Interagency Council on Homelessness (HICH), Partners in Care (the continuum of care for Oahu) and the Department of Human Services’ Homeless Programs Office has been the creation of a coordinated entry, assessment and housing placement system to identify all individuals experiencing homelessness,” said State Homelessness Coordinator, Colin Kippen. “To date, we have assessed over 2,900 individuals on Oahu and have plans to assess the remaining 2,000 homeless individuals. The State Homeless Program’s Office is using this system to assess and triage chronically homeless individuals, including veterans, into its ‘Housing First’ program.”

Neighbor island homeless population data is still being processed and will be available in May.

For more information on Department of Human Services support services for homeless individuals and families, click here.

For more information about the Hawaii Interagency Council on Homelessness, click here.

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