Survey unveils figures on most vulnerable homeless - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Survey unveils figures on most vulnerable homeless

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow)- The results are in after an extensive survey of Oahu's homeless. Over the past week, volunteers have been canvassing the island to identify areas with the most medically-at-risk homeless.

The survey showed those in Honolulu, Waianae, and Waikiki required more than 300 hospitalizations and about 1,600 emergency room visits annually.

100 homeless will eventually be re-located into shelters where they'll receive proper medical care.

Officials say the plan will also save the city money.

"By intervening, and if it's primary care that they need or some medications that will prevent that, or maybe just some outreach care, not only have we given the patient and even the homeless patient better care, but we've saved the taxpayers millions of dollars," Emergency Services Department director Dr. Jim Ireland said.

Partners In Care was instrumental in spearheading the homeless survey.

"It's an engaging process of building trust," Darryl Vincent of Partners in Care said. "These people have been on the street for a very long time and have built up a mechanism of not trusting people for obvious reasons."

About 10 percent of those surveyed were over the age of 60.

The plan is to have the unsheltered homeless moved into supportive housing by September 2014.

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