UH, DHS release homeless services report
MANOA — The Center on the Family at UH Mānoa and the Homeless Programs Office of the Hawai‘i State Department of Human Services have released the Homeless Service Utilization Report: Hawai‘i 2011. The report provides state- and county-level data about the demographic characteristics of individuals and households who accessed homeless support services during the 2011 fiscal year, based on agency-entered data in the Homeless Management and Information System (HMIS).
The report provides a new combined homeless service utilization profile based on an unduplicated count of shelter and outreach program clients, as well as a five-year trend of the total homeless service utilization, service encounter data on the Outreach Program, and information on clients who exited service programs during FY 2011. Some highlights of the report:
• From July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2011, the Shelter and Outreach Programs served a total of 14,200 individuals statewide, a slight decrease of 3% from a year ago.
• About a quarter (23%) of the homeless service users were children under the age of 18.
• Among the 10,940 adult clients, 20% reported having a disabling condition, while 12% were considered long-term homeless (i.e., continuously homeless for at least one year or having at least four episodes of homelessness in the past three years), and 9% considered chronically homeless (i.e., an unaccompanied homeless person with a disabling condition who is also long-term homeless).
• The Shelter Program served 8,299 homeless individuals and the Outreach Program served 8,266 homeless individuals in FY 2011. About 17% of the clients received services from both programs.
• For nearly half (49%) of the households who accessed shelter services and 43% of the households who received outreach services, the current homeless episode was the first.
• Outreach service encounters totaled 83,302, for an average of 10 service encounters per client in FY 2011. At each encounter, one or more services were provided.
• The most common outreach service provided was food/meal service, with 64% of all outreach clients receiving this service, for a total of 108,561 meals provided during the 2011 fiscal year.
• During the 2011 fiscal year, 5,831 individuals who received homeless services exited from the service program, representing 41% of the total number (14,200) of clients served statewide.
• A quarter of the clients (1,461) who exited homeless service programs left to move into a rented home (with or without public subsidy assistance) or an owned home, and a fifth (1,160) left to live with friends or family.
• In FY 2011, the percentage of clients who exited a homeless program ranged from 76% of the emergency shelter clients to 50% of the transitional housing clients to 26% of the Outreach Program clients.
“We developed the report to provide easy access to important statistics on the homeless, especially for those who need the data to improve policies, programs, and services for the homeless,” says Dr. Sarah Yuan, the lead author of the 2011 report. Adds Sandra Miyoshi, administrator of the Homeless Programs Office at the Department of Human Services, which collaborated with UH Mānoa on the report: “The use of the HMIS data will help us to make better decisions and take appropriate actions to reduce homelessness in Hawai‘i. Despite the gains we’ve made in the past few years, there is a continuing need to move homeless people into permanent housing.”
Copies of the report are available at the UH Mānoa Center on the Family, located at 2515 Campus Road, Miller Hall 103. The report is also available on the Center on the Family Web site.