The State framework to address homelessness, includes the connection between land management responses to address public safety and social services responses to connect homeless individuals to shelter, housing, and other supports. To support this balanced approach to encampments, the State has established Homeless Coordinator positions within the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) and Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR). The HDOT and DLNR coordinators work together with the Governor’s Coordinator on Homelessness, the four counties, law enforcement, land management agencies (e.g. DAGS, DHHL, DOE, etc.) and homeless outreach providers to refer individuals encountered on public lands.
Who do I contact if I want to report an encampment on State lands, or request assistance for someone living in an encampment?
If you observe an individual in an encampment and would like to notify the appropriate government agency or have an outreach provider follow up, please contact the Homeless Help Line at 808-586-0193 or e-mail [email protected]. You may also view the Homeless Outreach page for more information. The City & County of Honolulu also offers its Crisis Outreach Response & Engagement (CORE) program on Oahu, which can be reached by calling 808-768-2673 (808-768-CORE).
Can you explain in more detail how the State responds to a large encampment on State lands? What are the steps involved in the response?
For more information regarding how the State responds to encampments on public lands, please view the above videos or view the example below of State response to encampments on a closed portion of the Diamond Head State Monument:
How can I learn more about efforts to address homelessness on State lands?
As mentioned above, the response to encampments on public land is a critical component of the State’s management of public lands. For more information, please view the presentation below that was shared with the Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR), as well as a 2020 virtual panel on coordinated efforts to address homelessness on State lands:
What are some examples of training provided to State land management regarding the needs of people living in encampments?
In addition to the efforts above, the State is training land and facilities manager responding to encampments in the use of Narcan (naloxone) to respond to people experiencing homelessness who may be experiencing an opioid overdose. Please click on the link below to view a recent training conducted for staff from HDOT, DLNR and the Department of Accounting & General Services (DAGS):
If a person living in an encampment on State lands had items stored during a cleanup, how can they retrieve their items and who do they contact?
For individuals who may have had property stored from an encampment on State lands, please call 1-808-989-3057 for information regarding how to retrieve your items. Items are typically kept for up to 30 days following when the items were stored. You will need to have the storage notice with you, as well as provide the retrieval code provided on the notice. Please be aware that the City & County of Honolulu and other government jurisdictions (e.g., other counties or the federal government) have different processes for the disposition and retrieval of abandoned property.
Are there examples of other more region-specific approaches to addressing encampments in different communities, including areas that may not solely be under State jurisdiction?
While the specific procedures outlined above apply to State jurisdictions only, the office of the Governor’s Coordinator on Homelessness works with other stakeholders to coordinate and share information about regional responses to encampments. For example, please see two conversations below regarding regional responses to homelessness in Waikiki and in the Downtown and Nuuanu areas on Oahu:
How does the State response to encampments align with national guidance on encampment response?
Please view Seven Principles for Addressing Encampments recently released by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. The State response to encampments incorporates many of the principles identified by USICH, including a cross-agency multi-sector response, comprehensive and coordinated outreach, provision of storage for items left behind, and planning for what happens to encampment sites following closure.