It's a question that we ask ourselves every day at IHS, The Institute for Human Services. There is no quick fix for homelessness. Hundreds of individuals, businesses, foundations, and agencies work together to create thousands of victories that work collectively together for success.
When Rick Blangiardi of Hawaii News Now said, "Miracles are happening on the street every day." He speaks the truth based on experience. His news team has been in the trenches with us following the issue for years. He has twice produced documentaries that bring our team’s work on the streets of Honolulu to living rooms statewide. The most recent half-hour documentary, which was released in April 2019, Prescribing Hope, can be watched here.
Hope and action are hard at work. More than 1,500 of Oahu’s homeless moved into housing in the last 12 months. IHS finds work for an unemployed, homeless person every day. Family homelessness on Oahu was reduced by 15% from 2018 to 2019. It can be hard to “see” the victories, but they are happening—one person at a time and one day at a time. Success is happening through outreach, housing and employment services, family programs, and referrals to substance abuse treatment or mental health professionals.
Homelessness is not insurmountable, but success doesn’t happen in isolation. That’s why Hawaii News Now will present IHS’ Hawaii for Hawaii 2019, an October 26 live televised concert and telethon, that will bring together all sectors of the community to take a leading role in ending the cycle of homelessness. Event Chair Jerry Gibson, Vice President of Turtle Bay Resort, is working to bring the visitor industry and others in our community together to help Hawaii’s homeless get on their feet and off the streets.
Companies including ABC Stores, AlohaCare, Bank of Hawaii, Enterprise Holdings, First Insurance Company of Hawaii, First Hawaiian Bank, Hawaiian Electric Company, Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau, Locations Foundation, Matson, Waikiki Beach Marriott, The Queen’s Medical Center, Buzz’s Steak House and UHA Health Insurance have stepped in as corporate sponsors. Join them and you, too, can help turn small victories into big change.
We cannot solve this issue alone. You can buy tickets, sponsor a table and make a donation at HawaiiforHawaii.com.