HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Later this month, outreach workers and volunteers will fan out across the state looking for people suffering homelessness in the annual point in time count.
Even though this exercise is required by the federal government, it remains dubious in its basic mission to tell us how many people are homeless in Hawaii on any given night.
Nevertheless for a full year, the governor has been pointing to last year’s nine percent reduction in the count as proof his homeless strategy, such as it is, is working.
That despite lots of evidence on the ground -- especially on Oahu -- that the number of people without stable housing doesn’t feel any lower and seem more visible as they are pushed from place to place and new pop-up encampments materialize every day.
Its absurd that four or five years into this crisis, the government and social services system still has no way to accurately track homelessness from week to week or month to month. Such a system was considered a priority at first, but still has defied all efforts to organize.
Its been said that if you can’t measure something, you can’t manage it. And that remains the case with Hawaii’s unmanaged response to this crisis.