Who utilizes homeless services in Hawaii?

The Homeless Service Utilization Report: Hawaii 2007 provides a snapshot

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Nov 13, 2007

HONOLULU - The Center on the Family at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, in collaboration with the Homeless Programs Branch of the Hawaiʻi Public Housing Authority (HPHA), has recently released the Homeless Service Utilization Report: Hawaiʻi 2007. Authored by Marika Ripke, Natalie Crespo, Ji-Yeon Kim, Sylvia Yuen, and Sarah Yuan, this report provides state- and county-level data about the demographic characteristics of individuals and households who accessed homeless support services during the 2006 fiscal year from 23 agencies that enter data in the Homeless Management and Information System (HMIS). Information from both Shelter Stipend Program (i.e., emergency and transitional shelter services) and Outreach Program (i.e., mobile street outreach and drop-in centers) are included in the report.

Some highlights of the report:
· More males than females accessed homeless services.
· Children ages 17 years and younger constituted nearly 30 percent of the population served.
· 61 percent of individuals who accessed outreach services and 35 percent of individuals who accessed shelter services were lifetime residents of Hawaiʻi.
· Of the single parent households, approximately 85 percent were headed by a female.
· The most frequently reported cause of homelessness was financial problem, followed by family conflict, and substance abuse.
· The vast majority of individuals accessing homeless services were U.S. citizens (85 percent of shelter and 96 percent of outreach services). Individuals from Compact of Free Association sites comprised 9 percent of the Shelter Stipend and 2 percent of the Outreach Program clients.
· Approximately 10-20 percent of the individuals in both shelter and outreach programs reported they had a physical disability, abused alcohol or drugs, or suffered from mental illness.

"The use of the HMIS data will help us to understand and plan programs to better deal with the growing homeless problem," says Sandra Miyoshi, Director of the Homeless Division, Hawaiʻi Public Housing Authority. "So much of the homeless problem is invisible—unless you‘re personally involved. It‘s important to have the information available to a variety of audiences in a compact, easily accessible format. That‘s the first step to getting things done." For those working to combat the problem of homelessness on a daily basis, this report will be welcome for the easy accessibility of its important statistics. Among those unfamiliar with the issue, the data will provide significant insights and perhaps dispel a few myths.

The HMSA Foundation, Kids Count: The Annie E. Casey Foundation, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development provided the funding that made the report possible. Copies of the report are available from the Center on the Family, located at 2515 Campus Road, Miller Hall 103, at UH-Mānoa. The report can also be downloaded at http://www.uhfamily.hawaii.edu/publications/brochures/HomelessServiceUtilization2007.pdf.

For more information, visit: http://www.uhfamily.hawaii.edu/publications/brochures/HomelessServiceUtilization2007.pdf