Center on the Family, DHS release 2014 Homeless Service Utilization Report

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Sarah Yuan, (808) 741-8138
Associate Specialist, Center on the Family
Frederika Bain, (808) 956-3092
Writer/editor, Office of Communication Services
Posted: Nov 21, 2014

The Center on the Family at UH Mānoa and Homeless Programs Office of the Hawai‘i State Department of Human Services have released the Homeless Service Utilization Report: Hawai‘i 2014. Authored by Dr. Sarah Yuan, Hong Vo and Kristen Gleason, the report provides the most current data on the utilization patterns of homeless services in the state during the 2014 fiscal year, based on agency-entered data in the Homeless Management and Information System (HMIS). Dr. Yuan presented findings of the report at the Statewide Homeless Awareness Conference at the Pacific Beach Hotel.

The format and information presented in this year's report departed from what was typically presented in previous years.  In addition to providing information on the usage and outcomes of particular homeless service programs, the current report discusses new developments in the state’s approach to homelessness. Also, it has used HMIS data to discuss overall patterns of inflow, outflow and return flow to the homeless service system in order to begin monitoring the future effectiveness of these developments. Results from these system- and program-level analyses are presented.

The report includes data related to four types of programs that have been implemented in Hawai‘i and are intended to address homelessness. In addition to usage information about Shelter and Outreach Programs, this year’s report presents data related to two newer federally funded programs. The first is the Rapid Rehousing Program, which uses a housing-first philosophy and is designed to provide financial and housing support services to homeless individuals and families. The goal of the Rapid Rehousing Program is to transition these individuals and families as quickly as possible into permanent housing situations. Second, the report provides data related to the Homelessness Prevention Program. Unlike the other three programs, which target homeless populations, the Homelessness Prevention Program is targeted toward individuals and families who may have homes but are at risk of becoming homeless.

Some highlights of the report:

Homeless Service System

  • A total of 14,282 individuals were served by the homeless service system in Hawai‘i during FY 2014. This represents a 3% increase from the last fiscal year.
    • 5,461 homeless individuals (38%) were new to the system, meaning they enrolled in one or more of the homeless programs for the first time in the FY 2014.
    • 5,454 individuals (38%) were continuing clients from FY 2013.
    • 3,367 individuals (24%) were returnees to the homeless system.
  • The majority of clients, 9,915 or 69%, were literally homeless prior to enrolling in their respective homeless programs. This included 9% (1,329) who came from shelters and 60% (8,586) who lived in places not meant for human habitation.
  • The remaining 31% of clients were at imminent risk of homelessness or were homeless under other federal statutes. The most common prior living situation of this group was “doubled up” with family and friends, which represented 16% (2,349) of the total clients.
  • At the state-level, 23% of clients using homeless services in FY 2014 were considered chronically homeless, which is defined as those adults who have a disabling health or mental health condition and have been homeless continuously for one year or more or have had at least four homeless episodes in the past three years.
  • Statewide and in all counties, a larger number and/or proportion of adults were identified as chronically homeless in FY 2014 than in FY 2013.

Homeless Assistance Programs

  • In FY 2014, the Outreach Program served more than half of all homeless clients (53% or 7,608 clients), followed by the Transitional Shelter Program at 35% (4,968 clients), the Emergency Shelter Program at 33% (4,669 clients), and the Rapid Rehousing Program at 6% (824 clients). Some clients accessed multiple services; therefore, the total percentage exceeds 100%.
  • By June 30, 2014, the homeless service system had exited 6,414 individuals (45% of all clients). Of the clients who exited, 41% left for permanent housing, which included subsidized or unsubsidized housing, living with family or friends as a permanent arrangement, and permanent supportive housing.
  • The highest rates of permanent housing exit were seen in the Rapid Rehousing Program (67% for singles and 82% for persons in families), followed by the Transitional Shelter Program (47% and 68%). Lower rates were seen in the Emergency Shelter Program (18% and 31%) and the Outreach Program (16% and 28%).
  • The Rapid Rehousing Program also had the lowest state-level post-exit rates of return to homeless services (9% for singles and 2% for persons in families), followed by the Transitional Shelter Program (15% and 9%), the Emergency Shelter Program (16% and 10%), and the Outreach Program (16% and 19%).

Homelessness Prevention Program

  • In FY 2014, a total of 1,084 individuals at risk of becoming homeless received assistance from the Homelessness Prevention Program.
  • The most common living situations at program entry were unsubsidized housing at 65%, doubled up with family or friends at 14%, and subsidized housing at 11%.
  • By June 30, 2014, the data show that 478 (86%) of the total 559 individuals who exited the Homelessness Prevention Program were successful in staying housed, as evaluated at time of exit.
  • Of the 530 clients who received homelessness prevention services in FY 2013, 3% accessed the homeless service system within 12 months after enrollment, and altogether 5% sought homeless services by the end of the 2014 fiscal year.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provided the funding that made the report possible. Copies of the report are available at the UH Mānoa Center on the Family, located at 2515 Campus Road, Miller Hall 103. The report is also available on the Center on the Family website at

Contact the UH Mānoa Center on the Family at (808) 956-4132 or via email at, or see the website at The Center on the Family is a unit within the UH Mānoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources.

(Note: A PDF of the 2014 Homeless Service Utilization Report accompanies this release.)