Volunteers and outreach workers from around Oahu came together to participate in this year’s Point-In-Time (“PIT”) count. It was an annual count of the homeless individuals and households living in the islands, on January 23rd, 2013. The counties of Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui are in charge of their own numbers.
Members of Partners in Care (PIC), the City and County of Honolulu’s Continuum of Care (CoC), led the effort for the island of Oahu. PIC split Oahu into seven distinct areas and identified lead coordinators to organize the training and counting in each different area. Outreach workers and volunteers received a brief training regarding the forms used to count the number of homeles. They also learned a few quick safety tips before going out into the community.
HUD staff sharing the Point-in-Time Count survey used during the 2013 count. (L-R: Stephanie Kaimana On, Community Planning and Development, and Cecilia Fong, Field Policy and Management.)
This year the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) encouraged its employees to volunteer in this vital program. Three of HUD’s Honolulu Field Office staff elected to participate: Mark Chandler and Stephanie Kaimana On, Community Planning and Development; and Cecilia Fong, Field Policy and Management.
The HUD volunteers participated in the Urban/Downtown Honolulu Super Count led by the Institute for Human Services (IHS). It began at the IHS Ka‘aahi Women’s Shelter and ended at the State Capitol.
Volunteers receiving training before starting the count. (L-R: Cecilia Fong, HUD; Stephanie Kaimana On, HUD; Gabriel Naeole, City and County of Honolulu, Department of Community Services; and Mark Chandler, HUD.)
The entire Honolulu Field Office also showed their support by collecting items. They collected both personal toiletries and food to giveaway to the homeless individuals and families that volunteers and outreach workers met during the count.
Each year, HUD provides a report to Congress detailing the extent and nature of homelessness in the United States. An accurate homeless count allows States to secure federal funding for programming and services to help end the cycle of homelessness. The PIT count is one such method for gathering this information.
For more information on Hawaii’s homeless programs, please contact HUD’s local Community Planning and Development Director, Mark Chandler.
For more information on the Continuum of Care in Hawaii, please visit the CoC Maps, Contacts, Reports, and Awards.