The state saw a four percent increase in homelessness from 2015-2016.
That’s according to data from a newly released federal report, which says Hawaii ranked third in states with the highest rate of unsheltered homeless people.
Of the 7,900 homeless living in Hawaii, more than half are living in places like the streets, vehicles, and parks.
California, Oregon, Nevada, and Mississippi round out the top five.
City and state officials tell us they’re looking at other major cities like Houston and Seattle for ways to improve the issue.
“We’ve looked at some of their models for affordable housing development and really trying to look if we can replicate some of those lessons here locally,” said state homeless coordinator Scott Morishige. “We do know that Housing First has been effective here on Oahu and we want to make sure from the state side that we’re expanding to neighbor islands.”
Morishige pointed out that the numbers were taken from a homeless count back in January, so the numbers do not reflect the progress made throughout the year.