Honolulu’s homeless population continues to rise despite the high-profile efforts of city and state officials to put more people into housing.
According to the latest “Point-In-Time” count required by the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development, there were a total of 4,903 homeless people living on Oahu in late January when the annual survey was conducted.
That’s an increase of 191 individuals from the year before when officials and service providers counted 4,712 people living on the streets or in shelters. Since 2009, Oahu has seen its homeless population increase 35 percent from 3,638 to 4,903.
The data also shows fewer people living in some form of shelter in 2015 than in previous years. In fact, Oahu’s unsheltered population grew from 1,633 in 2014 to 1,939 in 2015 while its sheltered population decreased from 3,079 in 2014 to 2,964.
What makes this a somewhat surprising revelation is all the effort put forth by city and state officials, namely Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, to get people off the streets following a Housing First model that has been found to be effective in other parts of the country.