Homeless Services Utilization Report available from UH Manoa's Center on the Family

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Sarah Yuan, (808) 956-5939
Associate Specialist, Center on the Family
Frederika Bain, (808) 956-3092
Writer/editor, Office of Communication Services
Posted: May 26, 2016

Cover of 2015 Homeless Services Report
Cover of 2015 Homeless Services Report

The Center on the Family at UH Mānoa and Homeless Programs Office of the Hawai‘i State Department of Human Services have released the Homeless Service Utilization Report: Hawai‘i 2015. Authored by Dr. Sarah Yuan, Dr. Hong Vo, Kristen Gleason and Dr. Javzandulam Azuma, the report provides the most current data on the utilization patterns of homeless services in the state during the 2015 fiscal year, based on agency-entered data in the Homeless Management and Information System (HMIS).

The 2015 report discusses overall patterns of inflow, outflow and return flow to the homeless service system and highlights factors associated with changes since last year. In addition to providing information on the usage of homeless service programs, the current report compares service outcomes among different homeless sub-populations.

Thematic maps show geographic areas where people last resided before becoming homeless and where outreach services achieved tangible outcomes. This report also examined the permanent supportive housing programs that serve formerly homeless individuals, which include programs that adopt the “Housing First” approach.

Some highlights of the report:

  • The 2015 fiscal year reported the highest number of people who sought homeless services in the state’s history: 14,954 in total — an increase of 4.7% (672 clients) from last year.
  • The increase was highest among unaccompanied homeless adults: 8,250 accessed services in FY 2015, 9.9% (740) more than those served in FY 2014.
  • The only group that showed a noticeable decline in numbers this year was homeless children, who dropped 1.8% from the statewide peak seen in FY 2014, to a total of 3,494 in FY 2015.
  • The rate of clients leaving the homeless service system did not keep up with the increased enrollment, resulting in a total of 5,875 clients from last fiscal year who continued to access services in FY 2015 — 421 more system “stayers” than in FY 2014.
  • The influx of new clients to the service system accounted for 38.2% of all service users (5,717 total), which was 256 more “newcomers” than last fiscal year.
  • Newcomers, versus continuing/returning homeless service users, are more likely to be young children under 6 years old (14.6% vs. 10.2%) or young adults aged 18–24 (10.8% vs. 6.8%).
  • The majority of new client households was assisted via homeless outreach services (54.1%), followed by shelter programs (41.0%). Only 4.8% sought assistance from rapid rehousing programs as their first resort.
  • New client households with children are more likely to have lived in doubled-up situations or permanent housing prior to receiving homeless services, compared to single-person or adult-only households (28.2% vs. 11.1%).
  • Half (48.5%) of new adult clients had lived in the state of Hawai‘i for 10 years or more. In the counties of Hawai‘i, Kaua‘i and Maui, one fourth (23.9%) of new adult clients were new arrivals to the state (within 12 months).
  • Zip code area 96792 on the Leeward Coast of O‘ahu had the highest number of new-client households (482) reported as their last permanent residence.
  • In FY 2015, 981 individuals received rapid rehousing services, 8,030 received outreach services and 8,844 received shelter services. One in five individuals received multiple types of services. Of the shelter users, 4,950 participated in emergency shelter programs, 5,036 enrolled in transitional housing programs, and 12.9% utilized both types of shelter services.
  • The state’s homeless service system assisted 3,257 people in obtaining permanent housing during the 2015 fiscal year, representing 42.8% of all service users who exited the system.
  • People in family households had the highest rate, at 60.7%, of exiting to permanent housing, followed by children 6-17 years old at 60.1%, children 0-5 years old at 59.7%, and veterans at 56.6%.
  • On the lower end of rates: People experiencing chronic homelessness exited at a rate of 20.8% to permanent housing, followed by 25.8% of service users in Kaua‘i County and 31.0% of unaccompanied adults and others in adult-only households.
  • Rapid rehousing programs had the highest rate of exit to permanent housing at 73.4%, followed by 64.1% from transitional housing programs.
  • The Emergency Shelter and Outreach Programs had much lower rates, at 27.7% and 17.4% respectively.
  • During FY 2015, outreach programs assisted their clients to successfully obtain 6,333 non-housing outcomes, such as public benefits and case management. Half of these outcomes were reported from services delivered in two zip code areas: 96792 (Wai‘anae, Mākaha, Mā‘ili) and 96720 (Hilo). Statewide, half of outreach service users received one or more non-housing outcomes.
  • The total number of Permanent Supportive Housing households has been growing in recent years, from 937 in June 2012 to 1,048 in June 2015. The growth was mainly due to the increases in the HUD-VASH program’s capacity in all counties and the establishment of Housing First programs on O‘ahu.
  • Since FY 2013, an average of 244 households have entered PSHP each year. The current capacity of PSHP must be expanded in order to serve those with the highest needs among more than 2,000 chronically homeless individuals accessing the state’s homeless service system annually.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provided the funding that made the report possible. Copies of the report are available at the UH Mānoa Center on the Family, located at 2515 Campus Road, Miller Hall 103. The report is also available on the Center on the Family website at http://uhfamily.hawaii.edu/publications/brochures/HomelessServiceUtilization2015.pdf

Contact the UH Mānoa Center on the Family at (808) 956-4132 or via email at cof@ctahr.hawaii.edu, or see the website at http://uhfamily.hawaii.edu/. The Center on the Family is a unit within the UH Mānoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources.