The Center on the Family at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and the Homeless Programs Office of the Hawaiʻi State Department of Human Services have released the Homeless Service Utilization Report: Hawaiʻi 2012. Authored by Associate Specialist Sarah Yuan, Junior Specialist 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.
- 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 percent for the second year in a row after several years of increases.
- “New clients” made up 43 percent 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 percent of all homeless service users. Caucasians and Hawaiians/part-Hawaiians represented nearly two-thirds of the total client population (32 percent and 28 percent, respectively).
- Among the 9,261 households served, nearly two-thirds (63 percent) were single individuals or couples without children, while 28 percent were single-parent (17 percent) or two-parent (11 percent) households.
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 alone 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.
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 said “The use of the HMIS data will help us to make better decisions and take appropriate actions to reduce homelessness in Hawaiʻi. Despite the gains we’ve made in the past few years, there is a continuing need to move homeless people into permanent housing.”
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 website.
For more highlights from the report, read the UH Mānoa news release