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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Institute of Human Services Show Initial Success with Outreach Program in Waikiki

The Institute of Human Services announced that they have experienced initial success with their full-time homeless outreach program in Waikiki, and have already helped 63 homeless people into shelter or housing since they started in November 3, 2014. The program is funded through a joint effort by the city's Housing First program as well as financial support from the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association. Connie Mitchel, the executive director of IHS, stated that the program hopes to serve 300 homeless people during its first year. As a point of reference, during the 2014 Statewide Homeless Point-in-Time Count, it was recorded that there were 541 homeless people in Waikiki in January 2014, but IHS believes that the actual number is slightly higher.

The Hilton Hawaiian Village plans to host a fundraising concert at the end of April to raise at least $1 million for the Institute of Human Services to continue its work to reduce the homeless population in Waikiki. Jerry Gibson, the area vice president for Hilton Hawaii, commented, "We want the community to line up behind us for IHS so that we can put a real big effort into giving them as much as we can so that they can have the tools to do their job to end homelessness." Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell stated, "What's taking place in Waikiki is a testament to what can happen when the public, private and nonprofit sectors work together, and we hope to continue this collaborative approach."

Rick Egged, the president of the Wai­kiki Improvement Association, added, "Frankly, I agree with those that say the problem is not solved, but I believe that they've made fantastic progress. The fact that we are on the right track shows that we can get results with the money that's been raised. The outreach and services that are happening now weren't available a year ago."

Source: Honolulu Star Advertiser, 1-14-2015,
Posted by Jeff Uyemura-Reyes, Principal Broker, REALTOR®
Global Executive Realty, LLC