Nearly half of Hawaii's homeless adults are 45 years of age or older, according to an analysis conducted by the American Association of Retired Persons. The total number of homeless adults in the state is 5,116, with 2,352 of them being 45 years old or older. This number is likely to increase this year, as an estimated 1,820 Hawaiian residents of the same age group will be evicted from their homes. Oahu has the highest total number of homeless adults, with 3,932, followed by Hawaii County (53), Maui (46), and Kauai (46).
Oahu also has the largest homeless population per capita, with 49 homeless people per 10,000 residents. The study also found that evictions and homelessness disproportionately affect adults who are 44 years of age or younger and 65 years of age or older. The largest ethnic groups within the state's homeless population are Asians (1.67), whites (1.33), and mixed-race people (90%).Approximately 1 in 5 homeless people on Oahu in January were over 60 years old, a staggering increase from previous years that could present challenges for a homeless care system that is not designed to meet the needs of older people. However, he described the increase in the number of homeless older people — and the increase in the number of homeless people with disabilities — as “especially discouraging.”The fact that Oahu's homeless population has increased by just 77 people during a time of economic instability is quite positive and reflects the hard work done by homeless service providers during the pandemic.
According to Heather Lusk, director of the Hawaii Center for Health and Harm Reduction and president of Partners in Care, homeless older people, many of whom may have mental or physical disabilities, can find it difficult to find a home. A new report revealed that the total number of homeless people remained relatively stable over the past year, but there have been notable changes in terms of who is homeless and why. A number of factors will contribute to reducing the number of evictions and homelessness in the coming years, such as inflation, the economy, and government measures to address the issue of affordable housing and other factors that contribute to homelessness. James Koshiba, the new state coordinator for homelessness, said in an email that he expected a greater increase in the number of homeless people, given the persistent impact of the pandemic. However, the state has seen a significant decline in the number of veterans and homeless families over the past decade.