UH Mānoa Center on the Family, DHS Release Report on Homeless Services

article top
Homeless at Aala Park in Honolulu – Photo: Emily Metcalf

The Center on the Family at UH Mānoa and the Homeless Programs Office of the Hawai‘i State Department of Human Services have released the Homeless Service Utilization Report: Hawai‘i 2012. Authored by Dr. Sarah Yuan, Ivette Rodriguez Stern and Hong Vo, the report provides the most current data on individuals and households who accessed homeless services and the state’s overall service utilization in the 2012 fiscal year, based on agency-entered data in the Homeless Management and Information System (HMIS).

The report includes information for both the Shelter Stipend Program (i.e., emergency and transitional shelter services) and Outreach Program (i.e., services to those living in a car or park or on a beach). It provides a demographic profile based on an unduplicated count of shelter and outreach program clients, a six-year trend of homeless service utilization, and an analysis of service utilization and outcomes of the Shelter and Outreach Programs.


Some highlights of the report:

  • From July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012, the Shelter and Outreach Programs served a total of 13,980 individuals statewide; the number of individuals served dropped slightly by 1.5% for the second year in a row after several years of increases.
  • “New clients” made up 43% of people (or 6,434) who accessed shelter or outreach services during the fiscal year 2012. “New clients” is defined as those who have no prior intake records in the HMIS since July 1, 2007.
  • Children under 18 comprised 25% of all homeless service users. Caucasians and Hawaiians/part-Hawaiians represented nearly two-thirds of the total client population (32% and 28%, respectively).
  • Of the 10,610 total adults clients served, over half were lifetime residents of Hawai‘i (42%) or residents for at least 10 years (14%), while 11% had lived in the state for a year or less.
  • Among the 9,261 households served, nearly two-thirds (63%) were single individuals or couples without children, while 28% were single-parent (17%) or two-parent (11%) households.
  • The state awarded $15,526,954 in service contracts to homeless service providers in the 2012 fiscal year, with the greatest share, $13,333,293, allocated to Shelter Program services, and the remainder, $2,193,661, to Outreach Program services.
  • In fiscal year 2012, the state had 931 beds and 1,018 units that provided temporary shelter and assistance for those in need of housing.
  • Of the 7,804 clients served by the Outreach Program, 63% completed the intake process in 2012 and 37% continued services from fiscal year 2011.
  • There were 74,175 outreach service encounters (number of times outreach services were provided to clients), with a median of two service encounters provided per client served.
  • Among shelter service users, the average length of stay varied by household type and type of Shelter Program. Single individuals who accessed emergency shelter services a! lone stayed an average of 120 days (about four months), and those accessing transitional shelter services stayed an average of 245 days (about eight months). For those accessing emergency shelter services as a family group, the average length of stay was 96 days (about three months), and 351 days (about a year) for those families accessing transitional shelter services.
  • In FY 2012, 87% of singles who received emergency shelter services and 91% of persons in families exited program services. Families exiting emergency shelters had a higher rate of exit to permanent housing compared to their single counterparts, at 23% versus 16%. Permanent housing destinations include: rented or owned housing, with or without public subsidy; staying with family or friends permanently; and permanent housing for formerly homeless persons.
  • In FY 2012, nearly three-quarters (72%) of singles and 59% of persons in families receiving transitional housing services exited programs, with almost half (46%) of singles and around two-thirds (64%) of families exiting to permanent housing.
  • Of those who exited shelter services to permanent housing in the previous fiscal year (2011), 13% of singles and 4% of families who received emergency shelter services returned to Shelter Program services within 12 months of exiting. Statewide, 11% of singles and 3% of families who received transitional shelter services returned within a one-year period.

“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,” said Dr. Sarah Yuan, assistant specialist at UH Mānoa’s Center on the Family and lead author of the 2012 report. Adds Lori Tsuhako, administrator of the Homeless Programs Office at the Department of Human Services, which collaborated with the Center on the Family on the report, “The use of the HMIS data will help us to m! ake 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 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Hawai‘i KIDS COUNT 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 Web site at https://uhfamily.hawaii.edu/publications/brochures/HomelessServiceUtilization2012.pdf

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





  1. How much of our taxpayer's dollars have been wasted enforcing unconstitutional Bill 54? How much has been stolen from the houseless enforcing unconstitutional Bill 54? Can the theft from our houseless be quantified?

Comments are closed.