Homelessness affects people of all ages. One-third of people using homeless services are in family households with children under 18-years-old. More than 20% of homeless service users are children, and about 10% are adults 60 years or older. The latest national homeless Point-in-Time Count showed that Hawai‘i’s homeless rate was among the highest across the nation, second only to the District of Columbia. Data is an integral part of all efforts in ending homelessness, from tracking changes in the homeless population to measuring homeless program outcomes and effectiveness.
For more than ten years, the Center on the Family published annual homeless service utilization data in community reports which aimed at increasing public awareness and informing policymakers. In recent years, we have examined the Housing First approach in ending chronic homelessness for individuals and families affected by substance or mental disorders. We have also partnered with two major organizations that serve homeless and runaway youth to conduct the Street Youth Study, as an effort to understand their unmet needs and service gaps for this vulnerable population.