Homeless Count on Maui Increases 12% to 1,137 Individuals

June 19, 2015, 8:08 AM HST · Updated June 19, 8:15 AM
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Homelessness in Hawaiʻi. Photo at The Salvation Army on Kamehameha Avenue in Kahului, April 8, 2014, by Wendy Osher.

Homelessness in Hawaiʻi. Photo at The Salvation Army on Kamehameha Avenue in Kahului, April 8, 2014, by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

There are an estimated 1,137 homeless individuals on Maui according to a new report compiled by the state Department of Human Services.

The 2015 Statewide Point in Time Count shows a 12% increase in the homeless population on Maui, up 178 individuals from the 959 homeless reported in 2014.

The report shows an increase in both sheltered and unsheltered individuals over the last four years.

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In 2015, there were 505 sheltered and 632 unsheltered homeless individuals, with the majority comprising 742 individuals identified as singles, and 395 identified as members of homeless families.

On Maui, there are 325 active clients being served through the Salvation Army’s Homeless Outreach program, and 584 people being served through the Family Life Center. Statewide, there are a total of 7,620 homeless individuals, more than half (4,903) of whom are on Oahu.

This year’s statewide count of homeless individuals and families was conducted on Jan. 25, 2015.

State officials say the primary objective of the PIT count is to estimate the number of sheltered and unsheltered homeless individuals and families throughout Hawai‘i at a single point in time. The count allows service providers and the community to accurately assess current levels of homelessness for various household types,  accurately estimate the number of chronically homeless individuals and families, and evaluate the extent of homelessness among veterans and youth, according to department officials.

Maui specific data detailed in the report included the following:

  • In 2015, 65% of all homeless individuals were singles; 35% were in a family unit.
  • 44% of all homeless individuals and 78% of homeless families were sheltered.
  • 86% of sheltered families resided in transitional housing facilities, while the remaining 14% resided in emergency shelters.
  • 74% of all homeless family individuals were sheltered in either emergency or transitional facilities.

“It is clear that we must collaborate with the counties to address the rising numbers of homeless individuals and families across the state,” said Governor David Ige in a press release statement.  “I fully support the Housing First Initiative and similar programs that provide transitional and permanent emergency housing, job training, referral services for mental illness and addiction and other social services,” he said.

Lori Tsuhako, Administrator of the DHS Homeless Programs Office also commented saying, “While there is always room for improvement, operational counts are better and outreach workers are more effectively locating and assessing homeless individuals and families.”

The PIT count, is used with other data to help determine homelessness policy and funding.

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