HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Governor Neil Abercrombie announced Thursday that his Coordinator on Homelessness, Marc Alexander, has resigned effective Friday, January 6.
Alexander made news in January, 2010 when he abruptly left the Catholic Church where he served as Vicar General of the Catholic Diocese of Honolulu to lead the effort to solve Hawaii's homeless crisis.
According to Abercrombie, Marc Alexander resigned to attend to personal matters.
"He made big changes in his life in order to move into this direction, and I think he's still contemplating what those changes need to be and are going to be, and I respect that. I love him," Abercrombie told Hawaii News Now.
Social workers who spent the past 12 months working with Alexander said he did a good job.
"He was able to go out and engage people to come to the table like for profit developers of housing. The non-profit agencies have always come together to try to collaborate, but getting other parts of the state (including) the city (government) and the state (government) to talk and make sure we are all on the same page . So his effort was to make sure were all at the same table and to facilitate us," said Darryl Vincent, Chairman of Partners in Care (a coalition of Hawaii's homeless organizations).
"Marc Alexander has done outstanding work as the coordinator in bringing together leaders from throughout the community and this work will continue as a priority. The time has come to put more structure to this effort," Abercrombie said. "I am pleased that Marc accomplished the coordination aspect of what is now a movement to end homelessness."
Connie Mitchell, Executive Director of the Institute for Human Services, said she was surprised to learn of Alexander's sudden resignation but added it does not need to be a setback.
"I think that the setback will only be a setback if we allow it to be and I mean when I talk about we - if the community as a whole allows it to be a setback because he did provide the impetus for us to start thinking differently and to do things differently and we need to keep doing that," Mitchell said.
Abercrombie stressed that the plan to end homelessness will continue through the efforts of the Hawaii Interagency Council on Homelessness (HICH) which was established in July of 2011.