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Maui County sees a 22 percent drop in its homeless population

Photo: Maui County Council

Gov. David Ige announced today that the homeless population across the state decreased for the first time in eight years. The annual Point in Time count—a census of people experiencing homelessness—showed a nine percent overall decrease in the number of homeless individuals across the state.

This year’s count found 7,220 homeless individuals across Hawai‘i compared to 7,921 in 2016.

Maui County saw the second largest decrease, with a 22 percent drop over the same period last year.

“We do know that the housing situation on Maui is a big challenge, but we are committed to developing affordable housing there. We are working with the county and service providers to focus on housing first, placing people in permanent, supportive housing, and providing other mechanisms to assure that people have shelter and a safe place to sleep at night,” Gov. Ige said.

Hawai‘i County saw a 32 percent decline in homeless individuals and Kaua‘i County experienced a seven percent drop compared to 2016. O‘ahu saw a very slight increase of less than a half percent in homeless individuals.

“I commend the many partners who have gotten out of their silos, come to the table and rolled up their sleeves. Together, we are finding more efficient ways to move people off the streets and into homes. This report is proof that our collective efforts are working,” said Gov. Ige. “While today’s news indicates that the tide has turned, there is more to do. My administration remains focused on increasing affordable housing and reducing homelessness in the State of Hawai‘i.”

A link to the overview of Point in Time’s full report, compiled by Hawai‘i’s two Continuums of Care—Bridging the Gap and Partners in Care—can be found on the governor’s website at governor.hawaii.gov.

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