About

Governor’s Coordinator on Homelessness (GCH)

Scott Morishige currently serves as the Governor’s Coordinator on Homelessness and is the point person for all homeless issues in the state.  Scott works closely with Governor David Ige and his cabinet to provide for broad policy direction and coordination for the many stakeholders in Hawai’i addressing the issue of homelessness.  The Governor’s Coordinator on Homelessness is part of the Hawai’i Department of Human Services, and reports to the Director of Human Services.  Scott also serves as the Chair of the Hawaii Interagency Council on Homelessness.

Scott was previously the executive director of PHOCUSED, a nonprofit and advocacy organization for health and human services.  Additionally, Scott has previously served for a number of local nonprofit organizations, including ALU Like, Inc., The Salvation Army, Helping Hands Hawai’i, Hawai`i Community Foundation and the Legal Aid Society of Hawai’i.

Scott holds a Master’s degree in social work from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, and a Bachelor’s degree in political science from Oregon State University.

Meet Our Team

The GCH office is supported by a hard working staff, as well as a combination of policy and social work student interns.  Click on the photos below for a brief bio explaining who our staff are and what they do.

Community Development Specialist Emma Grochowsky

Special Assistant Jason Kasamoto

Homelessness Assistant Justin Limasa

Administrative Assistant Cheryl Bellisario

Policy Intern Nivea Krishnan

MSW Intern Daniel Quinn

 

Other State Department Homeless Coordinators

Certain State Departments have their own designated Homeless Coordinator to coordinate and align efforts within their agencies.  Our office works closely with these other coordinators to address homelessness statewide.  Click on the photos below for a short video explaining the role of these coordinators and how they partner with GCH.

DLNR Homeless Coordinator Pua Aiu

DOT Homeless Coordinator Jun Yang

DOE Homeless Coordinators, Brianna Levy (Social Worker) and Toby Portner (Hawaii State Education of Homeless Children & Youth Coordinator)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

State Framework to Address Homelessness

cover image of Hawaii State Framework to Adress HomelessnessImplementing a Housing First system – so that children do not grow up in homelessness – addresses the social determinants of health and improves outcomes not only for the current generation, but for those to come.  In 2016, the Governor and the Hawai’i Interagency Council on Homelessness adopted a comprehensive State framework to address homelessness, which directly addresses these root causes, including healthcare, education, safety, living/work environments, and housing.  Concurrently, the State strategically presses on three levers to address homelessness: Affordable Housing, Health & Human Services, and Public Safety.

  • Affordable Housing. Build more permanent housing and maximize the use of rental subsidies and vouchers to better utilize existing inventory.
  • Health & Human Services. Implement data-driven and evidence-based services that emphasize permanent housing placement.
  • Public Safety.  Maintain safety in public spaces for all members of the community.   When unsheltered persons are encountered, ensure they are quickly connected to housing and human services.

To learn more about the State’s approach to homelessness, read the State Framework to Address Homelessness.