Meeting people where they are – geographically, spiritually and emotionally – is the nature of our homeless outreach program.
We provide our community with a team of highly trained Outreach Specialists that move freely between the streets and shelter facilities. They offer services to unsheltered homeless persons living encampments, parks, and throughout various communities.
From understanding individual challenges in each person' s life, to symptoms of loss and trauma to assessing root causes and factors that contribute to homelessness – IHS Outreach Specialists persist in developing relationships and enhancing motivation to redevelop trust, provide support and stabilization, and identify pathways into housing. By consistently engaging unsheltered clients as frequently as necessary, and meeting simple, immediate needs for healthcare, food, or transportation; clients become more receptive to shelter and/or housing.
With the help and support of a psychiatrist, nurses and case managers, IHS Outreach Specialists are able to assess and navigate Hawaii’s most vulnerable clients to accessing the healthcare and housing that they need.
Our homeless outreach efforts have resulted in community leaders, businesses and residents reporting a reduction in visible homelessness, fewer negative interactions and complaints, and fewer arrests in various communities. With 37 years of experience; our "housing-first" philosophy and approach has resulted in a reduction of considerable costs to our medical, public safety, and community systems overall in addition to overall health, well-being and stability of formerly homeless clients.
In 2012, IHS responded to a plea for help from Oahu’s North Shore community after having experienced a substantial increase in homelessness throughout the area. With the help of the City and County of Honolulu, private donors and community organizations; IHS began its North Shore Outreach and Service Center program. Within two years (ending FY’14), IHS served 251 unsheltered homeless and moved 121 of those clients into shelter and housing. With the backing of IHS’ multiple services and housing assistance programs, 90% of those clients have since retained their homes.
Partner: Hospitality Industry via HLTA
In 2015, IHS also responded to a plea for help from the Waikiki business community, which encompassed a slightly different constellation of homeless sub-populations requiring different tools and resources. In partnership with the City and County of Honolulu, the hospitality industry, community organizations and private donors; IHS expanded its homeless outreach program into the Waikiki area with a new shuttle transportation service, pop-up mobile employment center, and launching Hawaii’s first Airline Relocation program to assist homeless clients with a verified safety-net out of state.
Partner: Adult Friends for Youth
While IHS responds to neighboring communities, the Urban Honolulu area spanning Sand Island (West) up to Keeaumoku Street (East) remains our core base of operations. By nature of many unsheltered homeless congregating in urban centers resulting in higher homeless counts, we feel a responsibility as the largest homeless provider on Oahu to focus resources on our Urban Core.
Working with other homeless service providers, our Outreach team has established protocols to respond to public referrals throughout Oahu. You may refer clients through the IHS HELP line by emailing Info@IHS-Hawaii.org or calling 808-447-2929 to provide detailed information about unsheltered clients you encounter needing help.
When you're far from home, somehow things just don't feel quite right. Disconnected from friends and family, life can become a lonely struggle. Without a support system, one poor choice or unfortunate accident can lead to homelessness.
The IHS relocation program helps homeless individuals and families who have become stranded in Hawaii to reconnect with their support system and make a fresh star. So far, we've helped 77 people return to 21 different states. We build relationships with our clients' friends and family at their destination so we know they'll be welcomed into a supportive environment.
When you support IHS and our relocation program, you're helping to take people off the streets of your community and reconnecting them with the tools and support they need to become self-sustaining in their own home. Join us in ending the cycle of homelessness by helping us provide our guests with the gift of going home.
And contact Vinnesha Bertola
IHS Outreach Program Manager
350 Sumner Street
Honolulu, HI 96817
By Allyson Blair / Hawaii News Now Life on...Read More
By Allyson Blair / Hawaii News NowOver at N.T....Read More