Institute for Human Services launch Waikiki homeless outreach pr - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Institute for Human Services launch Waikiki homeless outreach program

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

On Monday, November 3, the Institute for Human Services (IHS), with support from the Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association (HLTA), will launch a full-time outreach program dedicated to resolving homelessness in Waikiki.

The program will feature IHS's most experienced outreach staff serving the Waikiki community on a daily basis. They will engage homeless people, assess their situation, and provide the solutions needed to move them into shelters or homes, find employment, receive medical care, and reconnect with loved ones.

HLTA is donating $100,000 to IHS to support the start of the Waikiki outreach program, and has already pledged to donate another $100,000 to IHS in 2015.

IHS Executive Director Connie Mitchell says that the target goal of IHS's Waikiki outreach program in its first year is to serve 300 homeless people. Of that total, 140 individuals are targeted to move into IHS shelters or homes and an additional 120 transient individuals will be returned to their homes outside Hawaii through relocation assistance, with IHS and the person being assisted sharing the cost of the airfare.

IHS's homeless outreach program for Waikiki is based on some key core principals that it employed recently with success on the North Shore and in Wahiawa. Over the past two years, IHS outreach case managers served 251 homeless individuals in these communities and were able to move 121 of them into shelters or homes.

IHS's success with its North Shore program was built on a foundation of:? Knowledgeable assessment up front, meeting individualized needs,? easy access to services by establishing a faithful presence in the area, and partnerships with the community.

IHS's annual budget to operate the Waikiki outreach program is $1.3 million. Of the total budget, 62% is being covered by IHS, which has committed $824,000 of its existing funds to provide housing, employment and services for Waikiki's homeless. The remaining 38%, or approximately $500,000 (which includes HLTA's $100,000 donation), needed to support the program will be raised by IHS through donations from the private sector and other sources.

HLTA's $100,000 donation to IHS was derived from funds raised by its annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk in the spirit of “money raised by the community for the community.” Two years ago, HLTA donated $100,000 in Charity Walk funds to the Hawaii Foodbank for the purpose of feeding Hawaii's homeless.

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