BY SARAH YUAN – The Center on the Family at UH Mānoa and the Homeless Programs Office of the state Department of Human Services have released the Homeless Service Utilization Report: Hawai‘i 2010. Authored by Dr. Sarah Yuan, Heather Trundle, and Dr. Grace Fong, the report provides state- and county-level data about the demographic characteristics of individuals and households who accessed homeless support services during the 2010 fiscal year, based on agency-entered data in the Homeless Management and Information System (HMIS).
The report includes information from both the Shelter Stipend Program (i.e., emergency and transitional shelter services) and Outreach Program (i.e., services to those living in a car, park, or beach). Further, it provides new information on children who experienced homelessness with their families, as well as trends of homeless service utilization for the state and counties from 2005-10. Some highlights of the report:
- A total of 13,886 people experienced homelessness and received shelter and/or outreach services in the state in FY 2010, representing an increase of 3% from a year ago.
- At the county level, the City and County of Honolulu showed an increase in homeless service utilization. The numbers of shelter service clients increased 4% from 2009–10 and the outreach number increased 2% for the same period.
- Hawai‘i County saw the largest increases in outreach service utilization (15%) but recorded a drop (12%) in shelter service utilization from 2009–10.
- In Maui and Kaua‘i Counties, the number of clients served declined in both the Shelter Program and the Outreach Program from 2009–10.
- About three thousand (2,929) children experienced homelessness with their families and received shelter and/or outreach services at some point in FY 2010.
- Children from birth to 5 years of age comprised more than half (56%) of minors who received homeless support services in the state.
- About 9% of children ages 6 to 17 who experienced homelessness did not attend school.
- Based on parental reports, 25% of the children who experienced homelessness had one or more physical, mental, behavioral, or developmental issues that caused their parents concern.
“We developed the report to provide easy access to important statistics on the homeless, especially for those who need the data to improve policies, programs, and services for the homeless,” says Yuan, the lead author of the 2010 report. Added Sandra Miyoshi, Administrator of the Homeless Programs Office at the Department of Human Services, which collaborated with UH Mānoa on the report: “The use of the HMIS data will help us to make better decisions and take appropriate actions to reduce homelessness in Hawai‘i. Despite the gains we’ve made in the past few years, there is a continuing need to move homeless people into permanent housing.”
The Annie E. Casey Foundation and 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/HomelessServiceUtilization2010.pdf.