Homeless in Hawaii: State of Emergency Declared

Kimberly RipleyLife

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The plight of the homeless is a bleak one in Hawaii--so bleak, in fact, that Hawaii declared a state of emergency on Friday.

The homeless population in Hawaii has surged in the past two years, and the proclamation on Friday will hopefully speed up the process of directing state-allocated funds toward housing.

Since early August, officials have helped more than 150 homeless people move into shelters in Honolulu. Social services claims the number of tents in the Kakaako district of Honolulu has almost doubled since this time last year.

Scott Morishige is the governor's administrator for homelessness issues in Hawaii.

“There’s still much work to do. Hawaii has the highest rate of homelessness per capita among the 50 states, with an estimated 465 homeless individuals per 100,000,” he says. “The alarming increase in unsheltered individuals and families over the past two years is particularly significant on Oahu.”

Hawaii's governor, David Ige, says shelter space is the biggest issue facing the homeless in Hawaii.

“The biggest deficit in the system is shelter space for families,” he says.

By Hawaii declaring a state of emergency, $1.3 million in allocated funds for building a homeless shelter will be made available sooner.

Hopefully the state will work hand in hand with other agencies to aid the homeless in Hawaii. It's heartbreaking to think of so many people without any place to call home.

Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.