Thursday, July 24, 2014         

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Homeless seeking aid from shelters, state says

By Star-Advertiser staff


 About 125 people have moved from the streets and into transitional housing since Gov. Neil Abercrombie's 90-day homeless initiative was implemented. Above, a homeless man hangs his laundry on a fence at Sand Island.

Businesses and charitable organizations are heeding Gov. Neil Abercrombie's plea to stop feeding the homeless, and the Institute for Human Services estimates that it has seen a 15 percent increase in meals it has served over the last two weeks, Abercrombie's office announced halfway through his 90-day homeless plan initiative.

An estimated 125 people have moved from emergency shelters or the streets of Waikiki and Honolulu's urban core into transitional or permanent housing, Abercrombie's office said Tuesday.

"At first we questioned the state's call to relocate our services," said the Rev. Sadrian "Brother Sage" Chee of Ohana Family of the Living God Ministry, which is moving its food service from Aala Park to coordinate with the Institute for Human Services' shelters. "But after much thought and collaboration, we see the potential of benefits to the community that our change and transition in service will make. We are still fulfilling our mission of serving those who need our help while contributing to our collective goal of creating solutions to end homelessness."

Abercrombie's 90-day plan ends on Aug. 15.

His homeless coordinator, Marc Alexander, said, "As we move into the second half of the 90-day plan, we anticipate that there will be even more visible and measurable progress in addressing homelessness. We will also continue to learn what works and what needs attention in addressing the community challenge of homelessness."

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