The City and County of Honolulu and the United States Veterans Initiative are moving forward with a $2.8 million program to house 100 chronically homeless households on Oahu.

Homelessness in Honolulu has been steadily increasing, with the latest point in time count estimating 4,940 homeless people on Oahu.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announces the launch of the city's second Housing First program on October 7, 2016 at Honolulu Hale.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announces the launch of the city’s second Housing First program on October 7, 2016 at Honolulu Hale.

Courtesy of the City & County of Honolulu

In May, the city selected U.S. VETS to receive a $2.2 million contract to provide permanent supportive housing for at least 100 households. The nonprofit service provider is providing an additional $600,000 for the program that’s expected to help between 110 and 150 people.

The program, known as “Housing First,” targets people who have been on the streets for long periods of time and suffer from mental illness or drug addiction.

“This new partnership with U.S.VETS doubles the city’s investment in housing the most vulnerable among us,” said Mayor Kirk Caldwell in a press release. The statement from Caldwell’s office noted that the city is already providing permanent supportive housing to 176 people through its first Housing First contract.

The city plans to issue another request for proposals for a third Housing First program early next year. The press release said the city and state are expecting to house a total of 600 chronically homeless people within the next year.

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