Hawaii count shows drop in homelessness on 2 islands
HONOLULU (AP) — The number of people who were homeless on two Hawaii islands fell by 2% in 2018, according to officials.
The overall number of homeless people on the Big Island and Maui fell from 2,035 to 1,995 between January 2018 and January 2019, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Tuesday.
Preliminary figures on Oahu showed a 12% increase in unsheltered homeless people, while the overall numbers were down 4%, officials said.
The annual Point in Time Count showed decreases in several categories on the Big Island and Maui, according to homeless support organization Bridging the Gap, which conducts the survey.
Family homelessness fell 18% — from 216 families in 2018 to 177 in January — while veteran homelessness decreased by 3% and youth homelessness dropped by 11%, officials said.
The Big Island experienced the largest overall decrease of 21%, officials said.
At the same time, Maui saw a 1% overall decrease, while Kauai’s homeless population increased by 51%, officials said.
The decrease on the Big Island “was a surprise since last year’s natural disasters displaced more people than usual,” said Bridging the Gap Chairwoman Brandee Menino.
Natural disaster was listed by 67 people as the cause of their homelessness, the organization said.
The number of unsheltered homeless on Oahu increased to 2,401 in January from 2,145 a year earlier. At the same time, Oahu’s sheltered homeless population dropped to 1,910 from 2,350 in 2018, officials said.
The total accounted for 4,311 people living on the street or in shelters on Oahu, 184 fewer than the previous year, officials said.
Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com