Cause Of Homelessness In Hawaii

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Why does a popular and expensive tourist spot in the middle of the Pacific Ocean have so many homeless people? People dream of vacationing and living the good life in Hawaii. However, there are many people in Hawaii who live in homelessness. The Hawaiian government is trying to help the homeless with numerous efforts. The government has announced that they are using the program, Housing First, which is a nation-wide program known to be the most efficient way to getting people who are suffering from chronic illness off the streets (“Housing First”). On the other hand, the Hawaiian government is considering using grass huts for a cheaper alternative to permanent housing endorsed under the Housing First program. The government needs to solve the…show more content…
However, especially in an expensive state like Hawaii, it is quite easy to become homeless in a short amount of time. There are similarities in the causes in all states when it comes to becoming homeless. Although there are many reasons for homelessness, the main causes include mental illness and loss of job (Axelrod-Contrada 78). Cocke states, “Hawaii has the highest rate of homelessness per capita of all states, with an estimated 7,620 people living on the streets and in shelters”. There are other and more unique reasons in Hawaii that cause a much higher growth rate of homeless people compared to the steady number in most states. These causes include, rising costs in daily goods, low wages, and limited land (Bussewitz). Also, it is not easy for a homeless person to move to another state since Hawaii is an island. The minimum wage in Hawaii is $8.50. This means that an individual would have to work 140 hours a week in order to just afford a two-bedroom apartment in Honolulu. Breaking it down, that is twenty hours a day, which is physically and mentally impossible. In order to work an appropriate number of hours a week, (e.g.,40 hours,) an individual must be paid at the rate of $34.81 an hour in order to pay an average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in O’ahu (“Housing…show more content…
It was been working in many cities such as Los Angles and San Francisco (Yuen). However, with the great success, Housing First only focuses on chronically homeless individuals who are struggling with substance abuse and mental illness (“Hawaii Pathways”). This narrows the population of homeless people to only a certain amount of individuals that can get the help from a program like Housing First. Hawaii government programs have four main goals to help homeless to get back on their feet. Goal number 1, individuals will be placed in permanent housing through Housing First. Goal number 2, individuals will be helped with applying to public and health care benefits. Goal number 3, individuals will be treated for there substance abuse and mental disorders from professionals. The last goal will allow the individual to continue receiving the recovery services and support needed in order to continue on with a new path in life (“Hawaii
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