Homelessness in Oahu: A Comprehensive Overview

Oahu is home to the highest total number of homeless adults in the United States, with 3,932 people living without a permanent residence. This figure is followed by Hawaii County (53), Maui (46), and Kauai (46). In terms of per capita homeless population, Oahu has the highest rate with 49 homeless people per 10,000 residents. This year, volunteers counted 4,028 homeless people on the night of January 1.The data from this annual count reveals that one in five homeless people on Oahu this January was over 60 years old.

This is a staggering increase from previous years and could present challenges for a homeless care system that is not designed to meet the needs of older people. Despite the economic instability caused by the pandemic, the number of homeless people on Oahu has only increased by 77 people. This is a positive sign and a testament to the hard work done by homeless service providers during this difficult time. James Koshima, the new state coordinator for homelessness, said in an email that he expected a greater increase in the number of homeless people due to the persistent impact of the pandemic. The video provides a brief summary of the annual timely count of homeless people and the differences between the two continuing care centers in Hawaii: Partners in Care (O'ahu) and Bridging the Gap (Island of Hawaii, Maui, Kaua'i).According to a new report, the total number of homeless people has remained relatively stable over the past year.

However, there have been notable changes in terms of who is homeless and why. Heather Lusk, director of the Hawaii Center for Health and Harm Reduction and president of Partners in Care, noted that homeless older people – many of whom may have mental or physical disabilities – can find it difficult to find a home. The veteran subpopulation saw a decline in this year's count while there was a slight increase in the number of homeless Keiki. This could be a statistical anomaly or an indication of what is to come in a state with one of the country's fastest-aging populations. James Koshima expressed his discouragement at this increase in both older homeless people and those with disabilities. On a more positive note, there has been a significant decline in both veteran homelessness and homeless families over the past decade.

The data comes from a report released Thursday by Partners in Care, which oversees the island's annual “point-in-time” count – an event where hundreds of volunteers tour the islands to identify the number of homeless people in one night. The issue of homelessness on Oahu is complex and multi-faceted. It requires an understanding of both short-term solutions such as emergency shelters and long-term solutions such as affordable housing. It also requires an understanding of how different populations are affected by homelessness differently. For example, older adults may require different services than younger adults or families. The state government has taken steps to address homelessness on Oahu through initiatives such as providing emergency shelters and increasing access to affordable housing.

However, these efforts have not been enough to make a significant dent in homelessness on Oahu. In order to truly address this issue, we must look at how we can better support those who are most vulnerable and ensure that they have access to resources that will help them find stability. Homelessness on Oahu is an issue that affects us all. It is important that we come together as a community to find solutions that will help those who are most vulnerable and ensure that everyone has access to safe and secure housing.