The Hawaii homeless issue has become such a problem that Governor David Ige signed a proclamation declaring an emergency in the 50th state. The emergency proclamation on the Hawaii homeless was signed on October 16, 2015. Due to the signing of the emergency proclamation, $1.3 million will be set aside and used specifically for dealing with the Hawaii homeless problem.
“Homelessness remains a serious issue in every county throughout the state.”
— Governor David Ige (@GovHawaii) October 17, 2015
According to the United States Census Bureau, Hawaii has a population of approximately 1.3 million people. This money will come directly out of the budget from the Governor’s office. The number of the Hawaii homeless is estimated to be 7,620. These numbers mean that Hawaii, per capita, has the largest homeless rate in the United States. Scott Morishige is the person that Gov. Ige is turning to for information on the homelessness. Morishige commented on this humanitarian crisis.
“The alarming increase in unsheltered individuals and families over the past two years is particularly significant on Oahu. This proclamation will expedite the state’s plans to help these individuals and families to more quickly transition to permanent housing.”
What is Governor Ige’s plan to help the homeless with the $1.3 million? The money will be used to help fund services for the homeless, assistance in setting up permanent housing, and constructing transitional housing for the homeless.
Homeless people living on the street in the Kakaako district were forced out by authorities early last week. Some of these homeless people went to homeless shelters, while others merely went to another street to live. Officials in Honolulu have taken shipping containers and repurposed them to be used as a form of shelter for homeless people.
According to payscale.com, the cost of living in Hawaii for groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, and health care is higher than the national average.
Hawaii has tried in the past to use an emergency declaration to help curb the homeless problem. Hawaiian Governor Linda Lingle signed an emergency proclamation to deal with the homeless issue in 2006. It may seem odd that an emergency declaration was used to battle a humanitarian issue such as homelessness.
An organization, Hawaiihomeless.org, has a ten-year plan to solve the Hawaii homeless problem. From their website, the plan includes steps to improve data collection and research, decrease barriers to housing, ensure access to appropriate, affordable, safe, and decent housing, and prevent families and individuals from becoming homeless. The website also has a spot for donating to the Hawaii homeless cause.
Emergency declarations are normally used when dealing with natural disasters. However, other places have done the same thing that Hawaii is doing in regard to the homeless issue that is plaguing the nation. Last month, in Los Angeles, city officials declared an emergency due to the 18,000 people who are considered homeless in America’s second largest city. In order to help remedy their homeless problem, Los Angeles plans on using $100 million to find a solution. Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti commented on the issue.
“We all understand the urgency that this situation requires, and what is at stake. If we can lift up those in need, and pick up those left behind, then we can live up to the best of our ideals.”
The Hawaii homeless problem is a state of emergency. Hawaii is known as a vacation paradise, but some of those who live there are living in their own personal hell. What do you think should be done in order to combat the Hawaii homeless problem?
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