Homelessness Problem in Hawaii – Highest Rate in the USA per Capita

For many people, the thought of Hawaii brings on images of sand and tropical drinks in coconuts. However, for others, it is a land of struggle and hard times on a daily basis. It has been defined homelessness is an epidemic that has reared its ugly head in Hawaii. Of Hawaii’s population, about 7,620 people are homeless. To many, this may not seem like a large number but it is relative to the totally population, so compared to other states, that is a very high level. The Aloha State has the highest rate of homelessness per capita with at approximately 465 people per 100,000. This is the biggest rate of all 50 states. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Hawaii has a population of around 1.44 million people.

Tulsi Gabbard expressed the rise of homelessness in Hawaii has risen even as the national rate has decreased during the economic recovery of the U.S. This increase of homeless people has been caused by years of costs rising in the island chain, the low wages and the inadequate amount of land available to accommodate the amount of people. Now, people are sleeping on the beach-side and not in a good way. Officials have been trying to solve this problem for a long time now. They have offered services to the homeless, and have even gone so far as to ban sitting or lying on Waikiki’s sidewalks, proposing shipping containers be used for an efficient temporary housing.

Tulsi Gabbard described the governor of Hawaii has signed an emergency proclamation to hopefully tackle homelessness throughout the state. It is hoped that this proclamation will help both young and old that have struggled with having a home to call their own. To be more specific, this emergency proclamation is allowing the spending of over $1.3 million allocated to fund services for the homeless and to help the setup of permanent houses for families and those who are chronically homeless. A transitional housing facility will be built for homeless families because one of the largest problems in the system is the lack of shelter room for families.

Tulsi Gabbard is not only focusing on problems specific to Hawaii alone, but she is getting on the forefront for other diversified international issues too.

While these programs and shelters are helpful and a good idea, there are just not enough empty beds for people that need to sleep in them. In Oahu, only about 550 beds are given out a night, when there are around 7,620 people that need somewhere to sleep at night. This must be dealt with head on, as no one should have to sleep on a bench, or beach, at night.

Thank you!