LIHU‘E — In a move aimed at heightening awareness about the problem of poverty, Mayor Derek Kawakami on Tuesday, Nov. 1, proclaimed November as Homeless Awareness Month on Kaua‘i.
“It truly takes a village to address hunger and homelessness, which are widespread problems not just on Kaua‘i, but throughout the nation, affecting far too many people,” said Kawakami in a statement on Tuesday.
“We are grateful to our housing agency, Kaua‘i Community Alliance, Kaua‘i County Council, and all continuum of care partners who serve our community by searching for solutions, seeking funding support, developing housing opportunities and provide critical services with compassion and aloha for our people,” he said.
The proclamation coincides with the upcoming National Hunger &Homeless Awareness Week, which is organized every year by the National Coalition for the Homeless. This year, the observation runs from Nov. 12-20.
In observance of Homeless Awareness Week, the Kaua‘i Community Alliance, the island’s local continuum of care, will host the Fourth annual Kaua‘i Housing Connect homeless outreach on Wednesday, Nov. 16, at The Salvation Army in Hanapepe, and on Thursday, Nov. 17, at The Salvation Army in Lihu‘e.
At least 10 nonprofit agencies are expected to be in attendance, offering services ranging from flu and pneumonia vaccinations to hot showers. Other services to be offered include wound care, vital documents, pet care, Narcan training and housing voucher signups.
Although those programs are only available to people who are homeless, individuals who are at-risk of homelessness are encouraged to attend in order to connect with agencies and learn about what resources are available in the community.
“This year’s Kaua‘i Housing Connect event is a prime opportunity for us all to get involved and help make a difference — small or large,” said County Housing Agency Director Adam Roversi in a statement on Tuesday.
“Our housing agency staff is proud to partner with the Kaua‘i Community Alliance as together we continue to conduct outreach across the island, connecting people with various programs and services,” Roversi said.
A total of 444 people were considered homeless on Kaua‘i, according to the 2022 Kaua‘i County Point-in-Time Count conducted in January. Of those people, 35 were children. The total number of homeless people in 2022 was up from 424 in 2020, the Point in Time Count showed. A survey was not conducted in 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For more information about Homeless Awareness Month or outreach programs, visit Kaua‘i Community Alliance on Facebook, or contact County Housing Agency Homeless Coordinator Ashton Varner via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wyatt Haupt Jr., editor, can be reached at 808-245-0457 or email@example.com.
Source: The Garden Island