According to the HOMELESS SERVICE UTILIZATION REPORT, HAWAI`I 2010, the number of Maui County persons served by Shelter and Outreach Programs has reached 1,161 — tripling since 2005. 11% of this population is employed, and 9% consist of families with children. (www.uhfamily.hawaii.edu)
These numbers do not account for the hidden homeless, who sleep on a relative’s sofa, or in their cars, or camp in areas not as visible as the public beaches. The housing boom and bust sweeping across the U.S. is displacing families nationwide, but the problem in Hawaii — where land costs are more than five times the national average — is particularly acute. Rents in Hawaii are among the highest in the nation. Both the inventory of public and affordable housing, and the availability of emergency shelter is limited.
Nan Roman, President-National Alliance to End Homelessness
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