The Hawaii Governor’s Coordinator on Homelessness just released the results of the Hawaii Point in Time (PIT) Counts for 2020. PIT is an annual street and shelter count that determines the number of people experiencing homelessness in Hawaii on a single night in January each year. It is an important source of data on homelessness that is required by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. The PIT Count provides the community and homeless assistance providers with data needed to understand the number and characteristics of persons who are homeless, and it provides policy makers with data needed to effectively allocate resources aimed at ending and preventing homelessness. Two service providers coordinate this survey in Hawaii: Partners in Care in Oahu on January 22 and Bridging the Gap in Hawaii, Kauai and Maui Counties on January 26.
Overall, there were 6,458 people experiencing homelessness in Hawaii on one night and about 57% of those individuals were unsheltered. The statewide homelessness rate for 2020 was about the same as 2019, but has decreased since 2016. The most common self-reported primary causes of homelessness by surveyed adults were inability to pay rent, job loss, and alcohol/drug use.
- The total number of people experiencing homelessness (sheltered and unsheltered) was 4,448. The sheltered count rose by 4%, and the unsheltered count declined by 2%.
- 881 (24%) adults were chronically homeless.
- 51% of the overall PIT Count identified NHPI as either their only race or part of their multiracial background. NHPIs were over-represented by 210%. For comparison, Caucasians and Asians were underrepresented by -24% and -81% respectively.
- 1 in 4 homeless adults surveyed reported at least one mental health problem, and 1 in 10 were veterans.
- The total number of people experiencing homelessness (sheltered and unsheltered) across all three islands was 2,010. The sheltered count declined by 7%, while the unsheltered count rose by 5%.
- 709 (35%) adults were chronically homeless.
- Persons in households without the presence of children under the age of 18 made up the largest share of the homeless population (66%).
- Hawaii island saw a 16% increase in overall level of homelessness compared to 2019. Kauai and Maui saw a decline in overall level of homeless by 4%, and 8% respectively.
- The total homeless veteran population increased by 9% to 132 veterans compared to 2019. This is the first increase in homelessness among veterans which had been declining from 257 in 2016 to 121 in 2019.