Local Connection: Homeless Ranking

Local Connection: Homeless Ranking

The national numbers on homelessness are in, and to no-one's surprise Hawaii did not fare well compared to other states.

We were one of only about a dozen states where homelessness grew and have one of the highest rates of homeless people for whom we do not even have an emergency shelter which other states provide.

Can you imagine what would happen under these circumstances?

Hawaii got one break. Last year when the same national report came out - it revealed Hawaii had more homeless per capita than any other state.

This year, mercifully, the feds didn't compute that statistic.

We can dissect these numbers all we want, but many advocates and experts say we could be wasting our time. When Hawaii counted homeless this year, way back in January, a shortage of  volunteers made it highly likely that many unsheltered people went uncounted.

That undercount gave politicians an opportunity to claim things were under control, but it also meant fewer federal resources coming our way.

And worst of all, it means that years into this crisis, we still don't have an effective way of measuring whether we are any closer to success.

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