How Many Meals Does a Homeless Person Receive in Honolulu?

Homeless individuals in Honolulu are typically provided with two meals a day and services to help them transition to long-term housing. The Honolulu Police Department (HPD) has launched a pilot project, called H. E. L.

P. Honolulu, that allows officers to add outreach activities to their law enforcement functions. During this program, outreach workers and civil servants walk the streets of Chinatown for two hours every two weeks, providing meals and services to homeless people, as well as talking to them and getting to know them better. The HPD also works with outreach workers during field trips to parks like Kakaako Park and Mother Waldron Park, where there has been an influx of homeless people.

Instead of issuing fines, they use the time to get to know the homeless and learn new strategies. This helps build trust between the homeless and the police, which is essential for providing services. The HPD also stores information about the homeless in a database that is shared with social service agencies. This helps officers direct homeless people to the appropriate services when they encounter them on the street. Since the launch of the project in May, the police have identified 63 people and have had 95% of “significant interactions” with them. New state contracts with homeless shelters emphasize preparing homeless customers for permanent housing, which requires government identification and often government assistance, such as Social Security, food stamps, and other programs.

In 2019, Hawaii placed an average of 616 homeless people in permanent housing each month, which is 900 more people than were counted in the entire state's one-off count. The HPD's outreach program is helping to make this possible by building trust between the homeless and the police. Officers are able to provide meals and services to homeless people while also talking to them and getting to know them better. This helps ensure that homeless individuals receive the help they need.