November is Homelessness Awareness Month in the State of Hawai’i. In addition, the County of Hawai’i and County of Kauai recognizes November as Housing & Homelessness Awareness Month, and the week of November 12th – 20th is recognized nationally as Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. In honor of the week, Aloha Tower will be lighted in purple during the week.
Throughout the month, advocates and providers statewide will be hosting a range of events and initiatives related to homelessness and hunger, including the Statewide Homelessness Awareness and Housing Solutions Conference on O’ahu. As we reflect on the important work our providers do year-round, we are also reminded of the road ahead. The data, resources, and stories shared throughout the month will continue to reinforce our focus on affordable housing, supportive services, and community.
With the Hawaii State Legislative Session quickly approaching, the Hawaii Interagency Council on Homelessness, Partners In Care, and Bridging The Gap are circulating a sign-on letter developed by advocates from the four CoC island chapters. The final letter with signatures will be circulated to all members of the Hawaii State Legislature to urge them to support homelessness and housing programs in the 2023 State Session.
Signed Letter: https://homelessness.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/Sign-on-statement-and-signatories-11-30-2022.pdf
Full statement: https://homelessness.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Sign-on-letter.pdf
While our community has made significant strides toward ending homelessness, we know there is still much more work to be done. According to 2022 Point in Time Count data from both Partners in Care and Bridging the Gap, nearly 6,000 people are still without a safe, stable place to live on any given night.
The Point in Time Count is just one measurement of homelessness in our community and in other communities nationwide. It does not capture the thousands of people who received critical services that kept them from losing their housing, who are incarcerated or hospitalized with no place to be discharged, and who are at-risk of homelessness.
We need housing to end homelessness. Over the past decade, our inventory of permanent supportive housing for highly vulnerable people has nearly doubled.
Permanent supportive housing programs, such as Housing First, pair housing subsidies with intensive supportive services to ensure people with high service needs are able to live in the community.
Permanent housing placements are one of the key measures of success for all homeless programs. Each person’s pathway back to permanent housing may be different, but the end goal is the same.
Last year, homeless service providers statewide helped over 6,000 people transition back into permanent housing. This number also includes people who received emergency assistance to prevent imminent homelessness. Every permanent housing placement or retention is a testament to the tireless work our service providers do every day of the year.
For more information about statewide Housing Inventory Count data trends, visit http://homelessness.hawaii.gov/data
November 15-19, 2022: Statewide Homelessness Awareness & Housing Solutions Special Events
Meet and work with representatives from Europe who are working on ending homelessness in their communities. In June 2022, a cohort of providers, persons with lived experience and other stakeholders traveled to Finland to attend the International Social Housing Festival. Finland is a leader in the work to address homelessness and implement Housing First. All special events are free, but we do request that you register for each event to enable organizers to be prepared.
November 15, 2022: Sign Waiving in Maui County
Let us focus the signs on homelessness (No Promotional Signs or Banners) feel free to wear your organizational T-Shirts. This will show the community that we are not promoting our programs but working in unity to alleviate homelessness.
November 16, 2022: Picnic with a Promise
The second annual “Picnic with a Promise” will be held on Nov. 16, which coincides with the national Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. Oahu residents may order a special picnic-style meal, donated by Tucker & Bevvy, for pickup or delivery. All the proceeds will go to Family Promise of Hawaii. Since 2016, the nonprofit has helped homeless and low-income families in Hawaii with rental assistance, emergency shelter and stabilization programs once they have secured housing.
Location: Tucker & Bevvy, 449 Kapahulu Ave #102, Honolulu, HI 96815 (in the back of the building).
Order here: https://www.familypromisehawaii.org/picnic
November 16, 2022: Candlelight Vigil at Queen Kaahumanu Shopping Center
The ceremony and candlelight vigil aim to raise awareness about homelessness and the national Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. 6:00-7:00pm HST.
Location: Queen Kaahumanu Shopping Center, 275 W Kaahumanu Ave, Kahului, HI 96732
November 16-17, 2022: Kaua‘i Housing Connect
Over 10 non-profit agencies will be in attendance offering services such as flu and pneumonia vaccinations, hot showers, wound care, vital documents, pet care, Narcan training and housing voucher signups
Learn more: https://www.kauai.gov/Portals/0/Mayor/PIO/PR_2022-11-01NovemberisHomelessnessAwarenessMonth.pdf?ver=2022-11-01-162447-060
November 17, 2022: Patrick Foyle Resource Fair for the Homeless
All are welcomed for health screenings, assistance and health education. Individuals will be offered support through multiple agencies including Hui No Ke Ola Pono, MEO, Maui Youth and Family Services, Red Cross and more!
Location: University of Hawaiʻi Maui College, 310 W Kaahumanu Ave, Kahului, HI 96732
November 17, 2022: Thanksgiving Community Meals
Enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving Meal prepared by the Umeke Ka’eo – UHMC Gastronomy Club at this in-person, sit-down Thanksgiving Celebration. First-come, First-served. 600 meals to be served. For more information, call 808.871.6270
Location: University of Hawaii Maui College, Pi‛ana Building, 310 W Kaahumanu Avenue, Kahului, HI , 96732
November 18, 2022: Statewide Homelessness Awareness & Housing Solutions Conference
This is a unique opportunity for the entire community; from front line service providers to business owners and landlords, everyone comes together collaboratively to address the challenges faced by those experiencing homelessness by creating a coordinated response. There will be twelve (12) breakout sessions throughout the day to help participants gain further knowledge and tools to become a part of the homeless solution.
Location: Ko’olau Ballroom & Conference Center, 45-550 Kionaole Rd, Kaneohe, HI 96744
November 21-22, 2022: Empathy: A Key to Solving Homelessness feat. Ryan Dowd
Spend a day with renowned, entertaining speaker and global trainer Ryan Dowd and learn effective strategies for solving problems, preventing conflict, and serving houseless people with less stress. Each all-day training on how to use empathy-driven strategies with homeless individuals is meant for outreach workers, shelter assistants, housing specialists, volunteers working with homeless people, or the general public.
Location: Hawaii Okinawa Center, 94-1068 Ka Uka Blvd., Waipahu, HI 96797
Registration for 11/21/22 event (https://host.nxt.blackbaud.com/registration-form/?formId=813dcca2-c9d4-4a99-baa4-df36befc3e9b&envId=p-l7kAyO73Wk2ITjdST4-k_g)
For 11/22/22 event: (https://host.nxt.blackbaud.com/registration-form/?formId=21d82759-2d66-41a8-b311-889765b60811&envId=p-l7kAyO73Wk2ITjdST4-k_g)
November 24, 2022: Homeward Bound 5K
Homeward Bound 5K is an annual fun run held on Thanksgiving Day and benefits Hawaii’s most vulnerable. Each year, IHS partner with The Punahou Girls’ Cross Country Team and invite the community to race toward an end to homelessness. Run, walk or gobble in support of IHS. All proceeds support the Institute for Human Services, Inc. Hawaii’s largest and most comprehensive human service provider focused exclusively on ending or preventing homelessness.
Location: Manoa Valley District Park, 2721 Kaaipu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96822