Shelter Facilities

The Hawaii Department of Human Services contracts service providers to operate emergency and transitional shelter facilities statewide for individuals and families experiencing homelessness.  In addition, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, counties, and private sector provide funding to support shelter programs. A map of emergency and transitional shelter locations statewide is provided below.

Is shelter housing?
No.  Individuals and families in a shelter facility are still considered to be experiencing homelessness.  A shelter is not a final destination for individuals and families transitioning out of homelessness.  However, shelter facilities generally provide assistance to individuals and families seeking longer-term housing and provide assistance in developing a housing plan.

What is the difference between an emergency shelter and a transitional shelter/transitional housing?
Individuals generally access emergency shelter directly from an unsheltered situation.  In contrast, most transitional shelter/transitional housing programs require an individual to be referred by the local Continuum of Care’s Coordinated Entry System (CES).   The differences between emergency shelter and transitional shelter/transitional housing are largely based on sources of funding, and in some cases on the configuration of the space.  In general, both emergency shelter and transitional shelter/transitional housing provide short-term places for people with nowhere else to live to stay temporarily and receive assistance to seek and obtain longer-term housing.

Are there emergency shelter vacancies in our community?   How much emergency shelter capacity is there to serve people experiencing homelessness?
Emergency shelter vacancies are tracked daily and shared with service providers and government agencies in each county. Please click here for a list of the updated daily vacancy count.

How can I access emergency shelter or transitional shelter/housing?
Each shelter facility may have a different process or set of requirements for entry.   For assistance in accessing shelter, you may connect with outreach programs for help, or e-mail: [email protected] for more information.

Are there fees charged for emergency shelter?
Yes, emergency shelters may charge fees.   For emergency shelters contracted by the Department of Human Services’ Homeless Programs Office, providers are prohibited from requiring households with no income to pay a monetary fee or provide in-kind contributions (e.g. payment in goods or services) to stay in emergency shelter, and fees for households with income shall not exceed 30% of household gross income, up to a maximum of $250 per month per unit.  Fees for emergency shelters contracted by other government agencies or the private sector may vary.

Can individuals be “banned” from emergency shelter or transitional shelter/housing?
Shelters and transitional housing programs may temporarily restrict individuals from accessing services for health or safety reasons or for repeated violations of program policies.   For emergency and transitional shelters funded by the Department of Human Services Homeless Programs Office (HPO), these facilities must seek prior approval from HPO before “banning” an individual from services.   HPO maintains a daily list of individuals banned from HPO funded emergency and transitional shelters, which can be found here.