Homelessness in Honolulu

Approximately fifty members of the Aloha Chapter of LAI met for its quarterly luncheon meeting at the Oahu Country Club on June 3d to hear Connie Mitchell, Executive Director of the Institute for Human Services (IHS) discuss the problem of homelessness in Honolulu.  IHS was founded by the Rev. Claude Duteil approximately 40 years ago to meet the needs of the city’s homeless for a hot meal.  Today, HIS not only serves approximately 950 such meals a day, but also temporarily houses over 1500 homeless people per year, from singles to families,  for a short-term transitional period.  Mitchell outlined a number of reasons for Honolulu’s large homeless population, including a loss of approximately 40,000 affordable housing units over the past 25-30 years coupled with a 440% rise in housing prices since 1985 while personal income only increased over the same period by 167%.  IHS is a relatively inexpensive interim solution to housing the homeless since it does so for about $5 a day.  Mitchell’s proposed long-term solutions include the construction of more shelters, quicker access to such shelters, and rapid rehousing.  

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