The Center on the Family at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and Homeless Programs Office of the Hawaiʻi State Department of Human Services have released the Homeless Service Utilization Report: Hawaiʻi 2014. Authored by Center on the Family Associate Specialist Sarah Yuan and Graduate Assistants Hong Vo and Kristen Gleason, the report provides the most current data on the utilization patterns of homeless services in the state during the 2014 fiscal year, based on agency-entered data in the Homeless Management and Information System (HMIS).

Yuan presented findings of the report at the Statewide Homeless Awareness Conference at the Pacific Beach Hotel.

The format and information presented in this year’s report departed from what was typically presented in previous years. In addition to providing information on the usage and outcomes of particular homeless service programs, the current report discusses new developments in the state’s approach to homelessness. Also, it has used HMIS data to discuss overall patterns of inflow, outflow and return flow to the homeless service system in order to begin monitoring the future effectiveness of these developments. Results from these system- and program-level analyses are presented.

Report highlights

  • A total of 14,282 individuals were served by the homeless service system in Hawaiʻi during FY 2014. This represents a 3 percent increase from the last fiscal year.
    • 5,461 homeless individuals (38 percent) were new to the system, meaning they enrolled in one or more of the homeless programs for the first time in the FY 2014.
    • 5,454 individuals (38 percent) were continuing clients from FY 2013.
    • 3,367 individuals (24 percent) were returnees to the homeless system.
  • The majority of clients, 9,915 or 69 percent, were literally homeless prior to enrolling in their respective homeless programs. This included 9 percent (1,329) who came from shelters and 60 percent (8,586) who lived in places not meant for human habitation.
  • The remaining 31 percent of clients were at imminent risk of homelessness or were homeless under other federal statutes. The most common prior living situation of this group was “doubled up” with family and friends, which represented 16 percent (2,349) of the total clients.
  • At the state-level, 23 percent of clients using homeless services in FY 2014 were considered chronically homeless, which is defined as those adults who have a disabling health or mental health condition and have been homeless continuously for one year or more or have had at least four homeless episodes in the past three years.
  • Statewide and in all counties, a larger number and/or proportion of adults were identified as chronically homeless in FY 2014 than in FY 2013.

Read more highlights of the report in the UH Mānoa news release or download the full report.