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State touts progress on homelessness plan

MEDIA RELEASE

The state is on-track in its 90-Day Plan on Homelessness. Recently the state reached the halfway point in the Plan, which focuses on creating solutions and bringing people together to address homelessness across the state.

The 90-Day Plan, under the leadership of the Governor’s Coordinator on Homelessness Marc Alexander, was designed to gauge what could be accomplished in a short time by bringing together government, community groups, nonprofits, community and faith-based organizations, businesses, shelter and outreach services.

“Our 90-Day Plan is a call to action for everyone concerned about homelessness in Hawaii,” Gov. Neil Abercrombie said. “From what we see so far, many people are answering the call and collaboration is at an all-time high. Everyone is taking responsibility and finding ways to unite our efforts.”

Highlights of the first 45 days of the plan include:

* More businesses and charitable groups are participating to provide food to shelters and/or service providers instead of in public spaces. For example, the Institute for Human Services reports an estimated 15 percent increase in meals served to those not residing at the shelter in the past two weeks due to this change in service location.

* Approximately 125 people from Waikiki and the urban core area have moved from emergency shelters or the streets into transitional or permanent housing. Furthermore, although the 90-Day Plan was to focus on Oahu’s urban core, there has been high enthusiasm among neighbor island providers. In Hilo, the state implemented the first-ever “safe parking” zone program for up to five vehicles, and there is a similar program underway in Kona.

* Protocols are being established to immediately help people who are homeless or at-risk for homelessness and are suffering from mental illnesses.

“At first, we questioned the state’s call to relocate our services,” said Brother Sage of Ohana Family of the Living God Ministry, which is in the process of moving its services from Aala Park to coordinate efforts with the Institute for Human Services’ shelters. “But after much thought and collaboration, we see the potential of benefits to the community that our change and transition in service will make. We are still fulfilling our mission of serving those who need our help while contributing to our collective goal of creating solutions to end homelessness.”

At the end of the 90 days on Aug. 15, 2011, the state will have completed an intensive initiative to establish the partnerships and policies that will be the foundation of Abercrombie’s united efforts to end homelessness in Hawaii.

“The enthusiasm and support for our plan to address homelessness is high across the state,” Alexander said. “As we move into the second half of the 90-Day Plan, we anticipate that there will be even more visible and measurable progress in addressing homelessness. We will also continue to learn what works and what needs attention in addressing the community challenge of homelessness.”

The state partnered with organizations across the state where concerned citizens can call-in or e-mail to notify a team to help a homeless individual or group. The public is reminded that this is an on-going community effort. The numbers are:

* Oahu
Waikiki Health Center’s Care-A-Van Program
(808) 791-9359
homelesshelp@waikikihc.org

* Hawaii Island
HOPE Services
(808) 935-3050
info@hopeserviceshawaii.org

* Maui
Family Life Center
(808) 877-0880
wanda@flcmaui.org

* Kauai
Kauai Economic Opportunity
(808) 245-4077, x228
keo@keoinc.org

One Response to “State touts progress on homelessness plan”

  1. August says:

    Don’t they realize LABELING THE HOMELESS CRAZY, ADDICTED, and ALCOHOLICS keeps them homeless for YEARS & YEARS?

    Get the homeless immediate housing, training for a trade/career, and JOBS!

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