Hawaii News

Annual report reveals rise in individual homelessness on Kaua‘i

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While a newly released annual study showed an increase in individual homelessness it also revealed a decline in houseless families.

The data was collected in January as part of the Homeless Point in Time Count, a federally mandated census that seeks to count anyone who slept on the street, in a car, or in other areas not meant for human habitation on a given night.

This year, volunteers canvassed neighbor island communities, asking people “Where did you sleep on January 22nd?”

Bridging The Gap, a coalition of agencies working to end homelessness on the neighbor islands, presented the results of the 2024 Homeless Point in Time Count Wednesday.


While the count does not capture every unsheltered person, it provides a one-night snapshot of homelessness in Hawai`i. The data collected is compared county to county and year to year, to help stakeholders understand homelessness in their communities.

“Because each island has a distinct community, it’s important to look at each individual county’s results to get an accurate picture of homelessness in that community,” says Bridging the Gap Chair Brandee Menino. “That is especially true with the impact of the Maui fires.”

The report includes data for the years the count was conducted from 2018 through 2024.


For Kaua’i, where there is only funding for three Outreach staff, getting an accurate picture of homelessness means leaning heavily on volunteers.

“We have increased our volunteer recruitment and training, and that has improved the accuracy of our Point in Time Count,” says Makana Kamibayashi, Chair of the Kaua’i Community Alliance.

On Kaua’i from 2023 to 2024, the number of sheltered homeless individuals rose by 1 to 59 people this year. Unsheltered homelessness also increased by 34 to 464 people compared to 430 last year, reflecting an 8% increase. The total number of sheltered and unsheltered homeless individuals increased by 35 people totaling 523 people this year, reflecting a 7% increase.


Unsheltered homelessness among single individuals rose to 370 this year, an increase of 36 from last year’s count. The number of unsheltered family households decreased by 5% to 22 households this year.

“What we are seeing in these results is that our programming for children and families is effective,” says Kamibayashi. “However, the combination of a tight housing market, lack of treatment options for substance abuse and mental health, and inadequate funding for wraparound services has unsurprisingly led to an increase in homelessness among single adults.”

Click here to view the full Point in Time Count report.


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