- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 27, 2015

HONOLULU (AP) - Volunteers are surveying the number of homeless people in Hawaii, counting those living in shelters or on the streets.

The annual Point-in-Time count started Monday and will be conducted through Friday.

There are up to 7,000 homeless people on any given night in Hawaii, according to last year’s survey. More than 3,000 of them are sleeping on streets, sidewalks and beaches or in parks or squatting in buildings, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser (https://ow.ly/I29Wk ) reported.

This year’s count asks the question, “Where did you sleep on Jan. 25?”

State Homeless Coordinator Colin Kippen said the counts are important because they provide the basis for the U.S. Housing and Urban Development’s 2015 homeless estimate. It’s a large factor in determining funding for homeless services.

Last year’s count helped provide 45 programs with $11.62 million in grants distributed by HUD.

“These funds will help our state, local and nonprofit agencies who know Hawaii best make sure that homeless individuals and families have the help they need to get back on their feet and find a place to live,” said U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz.

Results of this year’s count will probably be announced in the spring, Kippen said.

“This year we’re making a greater attempt to go down the streets and up the mountains and all the other places where homeless people are living,” said Justin Phillips, the homeless outreach team leader for the Institute of Human Services. He led a Waikiki volunteer team Monday night.

Andrew Large, senior pastor at Waikiki Baptist Church, pointed out to volunteers a man he saw the night before sleeping on the pavement outside the church.

“It will be interesting to see how many of these guys that I know because they’ve been sleeping at the church,” Large said. “I’m hoping that we can figure out a way for them to be self-sufficient.”

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, https://www.staradvertiser.com


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