$195,000 awarded to Maui County for medical outreach for unsheltered homeless
The County of Maui was awarded $195,000 in federal funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development that will be used to provide basic medical care to the unsheltered homeless, officials announced.
The funding will pay for a physician to accompany outreach workers to locations where there are unsheltered homeless. The doctor will provide some medical services, such as simple wound care and assessment of any chronic illnesses or other medical issues.
By establishing relationships between the physician and those being treated, outreach workers hope to more easily help the unsheltered homeless apply for services, including disability payments and federal housing subsidies. Another goal is to encourage more of the unsheltered homeless to go to a clinic for services, including behavioral and mental health programs.
“By using the federal funds awarded to the county, we can help support medical needs of our unsheltered homeless,” said Lori Tsuhako, Director of the County of Maui Department of Housing and Human Concerns in a news release. “The implementation of this program will mean more services to those in need and a way to improve health conditions for those living unsheltered. It’s going to make an important difference in the lives of those who are unsheltered and is a part of our efforts to help an unsheltered homeless individual gain stability.”
The Department of Housing and Human Concerns has been working on developing the program in partnership with Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center and homeless outreach providers.
The County of Maui was among approximately 30 states and 173 local homelessness programs across the nation that were awarded a total of $315 million in funding to address unsheltered individuals and families with severe service needs.
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the Special Notice of Funding Opportunity competition awards on Feb. 2, after the first-of-its-kind notice of funds available to address unsheltered homeless people was released in June 2022.
The County of Maui is the only Neighbor Island municipality that applied for and was granted an award through this competition. It will receive the funding over three years.