Our partners at the City and County of Honolulu Office of Housing have put together a helpful flyer with 10 ways for the community to help people experiencing homelessness. This list includes contacting the Governor’s Coordinator on Homelessness at our Statewide Homeless Help Line at 808-586-0193 or [email protected] when you see someone who may need help. The complete list of 10 ways to help is listed below:
1. See someone in need, call for help.
When you see someone or a group who needs help, contact the Statewide Homeless Help line at 808-586-0193 or [email protected]. Please make a special effort to contact the help line if you see someone or a group at the same location on multiple days. If on Oahu, you may also call 808-768-2673 to ask for assistance from the City Emergency Service Department’s new Crisis Outreach Response and Engagement (CORE) program (as of October 2021, the CORE program is being piloted in the urban Honolulu area, from Sand Island through Waikiki).
2. Give information.
When approached by someone asking for money, if you feel comfortable, consider smiling and declining politely, suggesting they contact Aloha United Way 2-1-1 for assistance (dial 2-1-1 or visit www.auw211.org).
3. Find and connect with a nonprofit who serves those experiencing homelessness in your community.
Learn and work together to help those in need. Not everything we think helps people really does. Visit www.auw211.org to locate service providers in your area. If on Oahu, you may also contact Partners in Care, Oahu’s Continuum of Care.
4. Donate food.
If you would like to donate food to someone in need (including leftover food after a party or picnic), consider contacting a homeless service provider in your area. You can contact the Aloha United Way 2-1-1 for a list of area service providers. In addition you may also reach out to the food bank agency on your respective island – Oahu (Hawaii Foodbank), Hawaii (The Food Basket), Maui (Maui Food Bank), or Kauai (Hawaii Foodbank Kauai or Kauai Independent Food Bank). You may also donate excess food statewide to Aloha Harvest for redistribution to agencies feeding the hungry.
5. Welcome a speaker on homeless to engage with you and your community.
Invite a speaker on homelessness into your faith-based community, business, service organization, or social club. Providers and government agencies will gladly accommodate your request. To request a speaker, please contact 808-586-0193 or [email protected].
6. Become more informed.
Visit the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness and the National Alliance to End Homelessness websites and attend the annual Statewide Homeless Conference held in November. Information on the conference and other resources are posted on the Partners in Care and Bridging the Gap websites.
7. Become the welcoming community an individual or family facing homelessness needs.
Ask a faith-based community or favorite service organization to collaborate and align efforts to end homelessness in your community. Many homeless individuals and families are looking for communities and networks to become a part of as they move into their new homes. Consider working with a nonprofit to welcome an individual or family in need as they embark on their move.
8. Consider renting an unit to an individual or family seeking to move out of homelessness.
If you are a landlord, consider utilizing your unit to support an individual or family seeking to move out of homelessness. Often the homeless family or individual is working with a nonprofit who offers support and assistance both to the tenant and the landlord. For more information, visit our Landlord Engagement resource page.
9. Be an advocate.
Consider advocating on behalf of those experiencing homelessness and support affordable housing for all of our community members. For more information, visit the Partners in Care Advocacy page or visit our 2021 Legislative Advocacy resource page.
10. Treat everyone you meet with dignity and respect.
With a smile and hello, you make someone who may feel invisible feel like they matter.