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New count of homeless on Oahu shows more people on the streets, but far fewer in shelters

The latest Point-in-Time report shows the count of people experiencing homelessness on Oahu.
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 1:05 PM HST|Updated: May. 20, 2022 at 2:16 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The first homeless point-in-time count conducted on Oahu since the pandemic began tells a complicated story, with homelessness down nearly 11% overall but up slightly among those living on the streets.

Volunteers conducted the census on a single day in March, fanning out across the island to count homeless people.

They found just under 4,000 people experiencing homelessness, compared to 4,448 individuals in 2020.

Of those who are homeless on Oahu, about 60% are living on the streets.

The report found:

  • The number of homeless in shelters declined 24% from 2020, in part because of COVID rules.
  • The unsheltered homeless population grew by .4% or about nine people.
  • In another positive development, homelessness among veterans and keiki was also down.

Partners in Care, which conducted the study, attributed the decline in the shelter population to several factors.

Among them: social distancing protocols at shelters.

“Another significant decrease was seen in families with minor children, which has decreased by 60% since 2015. This decrease is likely in response to a focus on families with children over the years,” the nonprofit said, in its report.

The point-in-time count report is a federally mandated census and used to determine funding allocations.

Advocates say this year’s count is particularly crucial because the last survey was conducted two years.

In April, a point-in-time count results for neighbor islands showed homelessness had remained unchanged since 2020.

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