By Wendy Osher
The state has reached the halfway point to complete it’s 90-day plan to address homelessness in Hawai’i.
To date, approximately 125 people from Waikiki and the urban core area of Honolulu have moved from emergency shelters or the streets into transitional or permanent housing.
There has also been a 15 percent increase in meals served to homeless over the past two weeks at the Institute for Human Services. Agency officials attribute the increase to a change in its service location. It’s one of a number of businesses and charitable groups that are providing food to shelters or service providers, instead of in public spaces.
“At first, we questioned the state’s call to relocate our services,” said Brother Sage of Ohana Family of the Living God Ministry, which is in the process of moving its services from A’ala Park to coordinate efforts with the Institute for Human Services’ shelters, “but after much thought and collaboration, we see the potential of benefits to the community that our change and transition in service will make. We are still fulfilling our mission of serving those who need our help while contributing to our collective goal of creating solutions to end homelessness.”
Marc Alexander, the Governor’s Coordinator on Homelessness, who was tasked with providing leadership for the plan said, “As we move into the second half of the 90-Day Plan, we anticipate that there will be even more visible and measurable progress in addressing homelessness. We will also continue to learn what works and what needs attention in addressing the community challenge of homelessness.”
The 90-Day Plan on Homelessness was designed to gauge what could be accomplished in a short time by bringing together government, community groups, nonprofits, community and faith-based organizations, businesses, shelter and outreach services.
“Our 90-Day Plan is a call to action for everyone concerned about homelessness in Hawai’i,” Governor Neil Abercrombie said. “From what we see so far, many people are answering the call and collaboration is at an all-time high. Everyone is taking responsibility and finding ways to unite our efforts.”
At the conclusion of the 90 days, on Aug. 15, 2011, the state will have completed an intensive initiative to establish the partnerships and policies that will serve as the foundation of the effort to end homelessness in Hawai’i.
Concerned citizens who want to notify teams of a homeless individual or group in need of help, can contact several agencies that have partnered with with the state to help address issues surrounding homelessness.
To make a report, information can be provided to:
- O’ahu: Waikiki Health Center’s Care-A-Van Program, (808) 791-9359, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Hawai’i Island, HOPE Services, (808) 935-3050, email@example.com
- Maui, Family Life Center, (808) 877-0880, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kaua’i, Kaua’i Economic Opportunity, (808) 245-4077, x228, email@example.com