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Caldwell's project to house chronically homeless

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 07:11 p.m. HST, May 09, 2013

Mayor Kirk Caldwell unveiled a Housing First plan to address homeless issues that aims for providing housing units for up to 100 people across Oahu by the end of 2015.

The plan says those in the program would be placed in “scattered-site supportive housing” in areas across the island as opposed to a singular site.

The “demonstration project” is the centerpiece for the Housing First initiative submitted to the City Council today. The project is expected to cost between $3 million and $4.9 million over two years, or $30,000-$48,000 per person helped.

The plan will place people “throughout the communities where we find the homeless,” Caldwell said at a press conference this afternoon. “They need to be housed where they reside right now.”

The plan would target homeless populations in Waikiki, Chinatown and the Waianae Coast, the three areas identified as having the greatest number of homeless, city housing coordinator Jun Yang said.

The 75-100 people that are to be helped accounts for 15-20 percent of the estimated 505 chronically homeless population on the island as determined by a state “point in time” count this past January.

Flanked by three Council members, state homelessness official Colin Kippen and representatives from agencies that provide shelter and services to the homeless, administration officials said the cost is minimal compared to the social cost caused by keeping any one person homeless.

The administration is seeking only one full-time position and an additional $150,000 in the operating budget for the 2014 fiscal year. Proceeds would come from existing federal housing sources, assuming the plan gains the approval of a majority of Council members.

The Housing First philosophy is based on the principle that putting a roof over a person’s head should take precedent over the “treatment first philosophy” that attempts to fix the ills that often lead a person to homelessness such as drug or alcohol addiction, mental illness and joblessness.

Advocates for the homeless have long argued that housing offered to those most in need should not be dependent on participation in programs that deal with addictions or mental illness since many are reluctant to participate in such programs.

The Housing First model, according to the summary of draft report being issued today, “removes the barriers of mandatory treatment program enrollment, and provides permanent supportive housing directly from streets and shelters.”

The report says the city will continue to compile data on “all usable city property for the purposes of homeless residential developments and safe zones” although initial accounts are there a few usable lands or buildings.

Safe zones, or “safe camping facilities,” offer a “stop gap alternative” that should be explored further, but is not “considered a viable permanent solution,” the report said.

Mayor Caldwell's Homeless Action Plan

Mayor's homeless plan supporting documents

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Maneki_Neko wrote:
I wonder if the "scattered sites" will include Kahala, Kailua, Hawaii Kai and those type of neighborhoods?

Only 75 by 2015? Sheesh, talk about a manini goal.

Where's the $$$ coming from? Huh? Huh?

$48,000 per person? Cripes, almighty, why must the taxpayer always get hit with this kind of spending?

on May 9,2013 | 12:46PM
aomohoa wrote:
A one way airline ticket is a lot cheaper.
on May 9,2013 | 12:53PM
what wrote:
$48,000 could by enough food to feed 5,000 people for a year.
on May 9,2013 | 01:21PM
what wrote:
Oops, really bad typo. I meant 20 people for a year.
on May 9,2013 | 01:26PM
al_kiqaeda wrote:
Well, if Cup A Noodle was a staple...
on May 9,2013 | 02:46PM
Publicbraddah wrote:
I agree with you aomohoa. Homeless who come out of state are only sucking us dry.
on May 9,2013 | 01:30PM
allie wrote:
be kind!
on May 9,2013 | 01:43PM
yrusodz wrote:
speaking of someone sucking us dry...
on May 9,2013 | 08:54PM
nippy68 wrote:
yea. send them back to were they came from.
on May 9,2013 | 05:53PM
ryan02 wrote:
It won't include Manoa, you can bet on that.
on May 9,2013 | 01:48PM
GooglyMoogly wrote:
You blast the spending by this program on one hand, but complain about the program targeting too few homeless on the other. I'm no mathematician, but it would appear to me that if the target number were larger, the proposed budget number would go up as well. Make up your mind.
on May 9,2013 | 02:12PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Well, let's see....if we gave studio apartment at $700/month plus utilities plus $5,000 for "extras" the total amount for 2 years would be under $28,000/person. That's TWO years of living - how long must the hand out go on? So that's the cost side.

On the other hand helping 75 out of thousands is pretty low fruit. Heck, using y example, the existing budget for help almost twice the number planned by Kirk. And that's 2 years.

on May 9,2013 | 03:12PM
OldDiver wrote:
A large number of them have mental conditions which makes employment difficult. As usual the bloggers of "NO" have simple solutions for this complex problem.
on May 9,2013 | 05:56PM
popaa wrote:
ARE YOU KIDDING...They going west side.
on May 9,2013 | 02:48PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
What a breath of fresh air! So glad this man is our mayor. Imagine if the old man got in. Nothing would happen. NOthing. The people of Honolulu have spoken!
on May 9,2013 | 03:05PM
false wrote:
Hey you won't be saying that once Kirky sets up the homeless encampment next door to you! LOL
on May 9,2013 | 04:03PM
OldDiver wrote:
Snarky comments are the only solution the bloggers of "NO" present for every problem.
on May 9,2013 | 05:59PM
false wrote:
Wow, I'm impressed with those numbers. I'm wonder how many of us actually voted for this guy? LOL
on May 9,2013 | 12:50PM
pakeheat wrote:
Only the f****s that voted for him should pay, LOL.
on May 9,2013 | 01:23PM
what wrote:
Caldwell wants to spend $4.9 million on chronic bums who choose not go to shelters, who wander the streets begging for money for booze, drugs, and cigarettes. These types don't want help. The homeless that can be helped are already in shelters being helped.
on May 9,2013 | 12:54PM
GooglyMoogly wrote:
This is a pilot program using the "housing first" approach to combat homelessness vs. the "treatment first" approach that is used now. Speculating, some of these "chronic bums" you refer to probably do not want to submit to treatment just to have a roof over their heads. The thinking is that getting these folks sheltered, cleaned, and fed first might hopefully motivate them to seek treatment and ultimately lead to a higher success rate. Again, this is just a pilot to determine whether this approach is viable. But if the city wants to give this thing a fair chance to succeed, then it has to be funded adequately. No half-a$$ing this one.
on May 9,2013 | 02:20PM
kiragirl wrote:
So the $48K per person is for housing, food and what else? Wow! Wouldn't the plan be better if more people could be housed for the same price tag? As usual, we taxpayers end up paying for those who made bad decisions and are irresponsible. For those who unfortunately have medical conditions beyond their control, the State should be providing medical and financial aid.
on May 9,2013 | 12:57PM
popaa wrote:
Gee, 48000 is a lot more than my annual income. And I pay my own rent. Maybe I shud quit, goo homeless and collect 48 grand.
on May 9,2013 | 02:50PM
markat wrote:
At $48,000 per person over 2 years, it'll cost $1,800,000 a year to help just 75 people. Are they going to try to help all 505 chronically homeless people this way? That'll be another $12 million per year. And you can double down on that because as soon as those 505 are taken care of, there'll be another 500 right behind them. This administration is so short-sighted and will waste any amount of our tax dollars for a press release.
on May 9,2013 | 01:13PM
serious wrote:
When the word gets out around the world I think we'll have a heck of a lot more that 505. Also, the ones I talk to are on food stamps and, of course vote Democratic--I don't blame them--join the other 47%.
on May 9,2013 | 01:22PM
Sat wrote:
Doesn't appear to be cost effective. Might there be other alternatives than just spending $48,000 per person for housing? Perhaps employing them to do productive work for the City and therefore the taxpayers at $48,000 per year may be better. It would instill personal responsibility and return them to their dignity. However, there must be a very special screening process to make sure they are truly homeless. Once they are back on their feet, they must be dis-enrolled to make room for another person. The program should not be another way to further expand government jobs and the attendant cost to taxpayers. There are no bounds to an ever expanding and bloated government. If the program is indeed established, funding should be capped. Otherwise the bureaucracy will only come back for more funding to do it the easy way.
on May 9,2013 | 01:25PM
GooglyMoogly wrote:
What you're suggesting sounds a lot like indentured servitude. Could that set the city up for Bacon's Rebellion, 2013 Style ;) Also, what about the homeless who are actually employed? There are a lot of people who do hold jobs, but can't afford to pay for shelter.
on May 9,2013 | 02:24PM
ryan02 wrote:
The problem of trying to take care of this at the county level is that the county will become a dumping ground for homeless from other islands and even other states, to the point where Honolulu won't have enough resources to take care of the problem. It's sad, but the counties (or even states) that try to help only end up getting penalized by becoming a dumping ground. It needs to be addressed at the state level, at a minimum, but better yet at the national level. Many homeless were sent here from other states, and have never paid taxes in Hawaii or even have relatives in Hawaii who have paid taxes here, yet Hawaii now has to foot the bill. It needs to be addressed on the national level so the costs can be more evenly distributed. Additionally, the "solution" to homelessness needs coordination on the national level. Hawaii is simply too expensive a place (all islands) for most homeless to ever have a chance of being self-sufficient. There needs to be coordination to help place them where the cost of living is cheaper and they have a real shot at becoming self-sufficient. Hawaii alone cannot do that. What the heck have our senators and congresswomen been doing to help Hawaii on this issue?
on May 9,2013 | 01:28PM
Wazdat wrote:
on May 9,2013 | 03:57PM
konag43 wrote:
homeless people that want to work and are working my heart goes out to them but the majority of the lazy good for nothings that want to live off of drugs and pan handling and live off of our goosd working people tax dollar i have no use for, jail them for vacrancy but then again it cost more to keep them in jail then to let them out on our streets. and of course the sites will not include kahala, kailua and hawaii kai.
on May 9,2013 | 01:31PM
ryan02 wrote:
Or Manoa, where Caldwell lives.
on May 9,2013 | 01:43PM
MariaBetty wrote:
House these luck 75 in his home district of Manoa. $48k for 2 years is $1,200 a month in rent per person.
on May 9,2013 | 02:15PM
Naloboy wrote:
Right idea but too small and too slow. This isn't a program, its a tiny little experiment. It shows no real foresight orcommitment. The "experiment" is patterned after highly successful, large scale "housing first" programs in numerous Eastern US cities. Just shows what a small-time thinker Caldwell is and how little power he wields. Otherwise this would be something immediate and worthwhile. Instead, even if it is a complete success, two years from now it won't have made even a small dent in the problem. What a shame.
on May 9,2013 | 02:20PM
false wrote:
I like it. Small steps, first. Not building a big bureacracy. See how it goes. Not centralizing everyone in one place. Addressing a really ugly problem, with marginalized human beings living in sub-human areas. The only thing I'd think of is to partner with churches.
on May 9,2013 | 02:26PM
al_kiqaeda wrote:
Church based partnerships would work the best because they are community based. Plus, community activities instill ownership, pride, and aloha in a neighborhood. Many of the homeless have little hope and could use a lot bolstering in that department.
on May 9,2013 | 03:06PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
The Honolulu Hale parrot was heard to squawk "Takai! Takai! Takai!"
on May 9,2013 | 03:14PM
sellwin wrote:
I'm not paying for this.
on May 9,2013 | 03:34PM
BRock wrote:
As usual the ignorant and disgruntled have come out from wherever they read the newspaper.
on May 9,2013 | 03:41PM
loquaciousone wrote:
I welcome all the homeless to be put in residences in my neighborhood. I'll help them in any way in food, cigarettes, drugs, alcohol and whatever they need. I live at 415 Beretania Street on the fifth floor. Please come to visit me anytime. My name is neil.
on May 9,2013 | 03:46PM
iwanaknow wrote:
I came yesterday and you weren't in so I went to the Lt Gov chambers and he had 5, yes, count them, 5 secretaries working in his lobby..............yikes, that's why Government is so expensive.
on May 9,2013 | 05:07PM
MANDA wrote:
$48k per PERSON helped? That is nuts.
on May 9,2013 | 03:55PM
localguy wrote:
Hold on to your wallets Kirky Boy is at it again when he says, "The administration wants only one full-time position and an additional $150,000 in the operating budget for the 2014 fiscal year." Why can't we find a good charity group to work this area? Would cost us less and we could still give them some management money. Point is now we are not paying the salary, medical care, and retirement of another government worker. Can't believe Kirky Boy hasn't got a clue on how to conserve tax payer's money. His union bosses pulling his strings again.
on May 9,2013 | 04:21PM
kaiakea wrote:
48,000 dollars? For not working and depending on others to foot the bill? Go take a flying **** at the moon!
on May 9,2013 | 04:26PM
iwanaknow wrote:
Just put them on a cruise boat around the world for $48K, out of sight, out of mind.
on May 9,2013 | 05:08PM
lovedogs wrote:
Translation....I need more money for my projects and to pay for unfunded liabilities. Remember you voted him into office. Do you see another nickel and dime tax coming? $48,000 per person is absurd.
on May 9,2013 | 05:22PM
blackmurano wrote:
There was something on the police blotter in the StarAdvertiser about two homeless men being assaulted. Both came from the mainland. I would guess, just guessing, that most of the homeless were given one way plane ticket by someone in their State to enjoy paradise at the expense of the citizen of this State. Why not the Tax and spend Democratic Mayor Caldwell, use the fund he propose to build housing for this mainland homeless is send them back to the mainland on a one way ticket.
on May 9,2013 | 05:27PM
blackmurano wrote:
In my last comment, it's not only the two mainland homeless men, but I believe most of the homeless in Hawaii comes from the mainland. Send them back on a one way ticket. . period!
on May 9,2013 | 05:30PM
Pacej001 wrote:
Wow. Housing first. That's it??? What about the people sleeping along Kalakaua in Waikiki or in the park or on the sidewalks???? What about the third of the homeless who are from the mainland here on their SS disability/food stamp/welfare vacations????? "Housing First" for them too?? Where are the "teeth" in the mayor's plan that will stop our tourist areas from being trashed. Try walking down Kalakaua in Waikiki at 9PM. You' will quickly begin to wonder why any toruist would spend $500/day to come here. That, among other things, such as the tent campers around Thomas square need to be fixed NOW. I'm not saying that shelter for needy local people is a bad idea, but this just seems like a drop in the bucket, sounds good plan that won't accomplish diddly relative to the size of the problem.
on May 9,2013 | 06:17PM
veelc wrote:
Dis bum, Caldwell, cannot addwell. Hence, it will not endwell. Vote da bum out. Da math no add up.
on June 28,2013 | 03:37PM
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