Friday, January 3, 2020


WHO:             Representative Joy A. San Buenaventura, Chair, House Committee on Human Services & Homelessness
Senator Russell E. Ruderman, Chair, Senate Committee on Human Services

WHAT:          Informational Briefing on Hawaiʻi Homelessness Summit 2020

WHEN:          Tuesday, January 7, 2020
                        10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

WHERE:       Hawaiʻi State Capitol
                        Room 329

Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – The Hawaiʻi State Legislature is advancing its efforts to end homelessness and will convene the Hawaiʻi Homelessness Summit 2020 on January 7 at the State Capitol.
Representative Joy A. San Buenaventura, Chair of the House Committee on Human Services & Homelessness, and Senator Russell E. Ruderman, Chair of the Senate Committee on Human Services, will lead the summit to evaluate the success of existing programs funded by the Legislature and to look ahead and embrace innovative solutions to homelessness.
Gov. David Ige issued an emergency proclamation for homelessness on December 14, 2018 and recently signed a seventh supplementary proclamation extending the emergency relief period to February 14, 2020.
In 2018, the Legislature allotted $30 million for six “Ohana Zones” on public lands, with three sites on O‘ahu and one site each on Hawaiʻi, Kauai and Maui. Each site must provide temporary housing along with social and health services that aim to transition homeless individuals to affordable housing.Gov. Ige began releasing funding for various Ohana Zone projects this past January.The Legislature has provided funding for housing first programs since 2012 and in 2017 provided funding for the rapid re-housing program, family assessment centers, and homeless outreach and civil legal services.
"Our ultimate goal is to eradicate homelessness, not just manage it," said Representative San Buenaventura. "Data has shown a significant decrease in homeless families and children over the past few years. Helping those struggling with a disabling condition such as serious mental illness, substance use disorder, or physical disability is especially challenging, but the Legislature is not giving up and we are listening to and working with providers to do everything we possibly can. We also want to ensure that the funding commitment made by the Legislature is being used efficiently and effectively."
"Homelessness is reduced in communities that focus on housing," said Senator Ruderman. "If we truly want to get people off the streets, we must provide them with a safe place as an alternative. With this summit we are asking questions and looking for solutions."
The informational briefing will first look into the current state of homeless in Hawaii and ask if funding priorities for housing and services have been successful in reducing homelessness. The committees also want to know if the new resources such as Ohana Zones, Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD), and medical respites have demonstrated efficacy.
The committees will then discuss how we define and measure success in ending homelessness followed by seeking to improve coordination with our community partners.
A discussion on looking forward and embracing innovative solutions, such as public-private partnerships, and questions by committee members will end the hearing.
Guest speakers will include:
·         Lt. Governor Joshua B. Green
·         Scott Morishige, Governor's Coordinator on Homelessness
·         Marc Alexander, Executive Director, Mayor’s Office of Housing (City & County of Honolulu)
·         Sharon Hirota, Executive Assistant, Office of the Mayor (Hawaii County)
·         Lori Tsuhako, Director, Dept. of Housing and Human Concerns (Maui County)
·         David Nakama, Homeless Program Coordinator, Dept. of Housing and Human Concerns (Maui)
·         Sharon Woodward Graham, Homeless Programs Coordinator, Kauai County Housing Agency
·         Laura E. Thielen, Executive Director, Partners In Care (Oahu)
Brandee Menino, Chair, Bridging The Gap (Hawaii, Maui, KauaiMatthew Doherty, former Executive Director, United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH)

No public testimony will be accepted.
The hearing will be televised live on Olelo channel 55 and will be aired via tape delay on the neighbor islands public television stations. The hearing can also be watched live online at or on the House webcast page

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