The state Department of Human Services released its annual Point-in-Time count  results on Homelessness for 2017 today, noting a 9% statewide drop in homelessness. The drop represents the first statewide drop in homelessness in eight years.
The 2017 count found 7,220 homeless individuals across Hawai‘i compared to 7,921 in 2016.
Hawai‘i County saw the largest decrease at 32%, Maui County saw a 22% decline and Kaua‘i County a 7% drop compared to 2016. O‘ahu saw an increase of less than a half percent in the number homeless individuals.
In 2017, there were 896 homeless individuals in Maui County–that translates to a decrease of 249 individuals (22% drop) from 2016.
According to last year’s report, there were an estimated 1,145 homeless individuals on Maui. That’s an increase of 8 individuals (a 1% increase) from 2015 when 1,137 homeless were reported. The 2015 report noted a 12% increase from the previous year in 2014.
“We have been working very hard to get federal, state and county officials and service providers to really work together to reduce homelessness all across the state,” said Gov. David Ige.
“Certainly we are beginning to get traction in the many programs that we have. As you know, we’ve restructured all of the contracts to the service providers and really focused on placement into permanent housing, which we know is what works,” said Gov. Ige.
In addressing challenges on Oʻahu, Gov. Ige said, “I think it really is about continuing to work with our partners. We have engaged the private sector. The project at the paintball site is a good example of the city, state and private sector working together to create permanent housing in our communities.”