Count: Unsheltered homeless population up 12% on Oahu from last year

Count: Unsheltered homeless population up 12% on Oahu from last year
(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Source: BCEDIT)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Despite a number of city efforts to push people living on the streets to shelters, the number of unsheltered homeless people on Oahu is up 12 percent from a year ago.

That’s according to new figures from an island-wide “point-in-time” count conducted in January.

The count found 2,401 homeless people living on Oahu streets, up by 256 people from the year before.

At the same time, the number of homeless people in shelters is down nearly 20 percent from a year ago.

Some 1,910 people were counted in shelters, down by 440 from 2018.

And that big drop in the sheltered population means the total homeless population is down.

The count found a total of 4,311 people living in shelters or on the streets islandwide on a single night in January. That’s down about 4 percent from 2018.

Every January, volunteers fan out across Oahu and the state to count homeless people living in shelters and on the streets. The count is meant to show the size of the homeless population at a single “point in time.”

And the figures are used, among other things, to determine key federal funding allocations.

The increase in the number of people living on the streets comes amid a concerted effort by the city to drive people to shelters, including with increased enforcement of park rules.

This story will be updated.

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