Advocating on behalf of Hawaii’s homeless is one of PIC’s most important priorities and one of the strongest methods to influence public policy and effect social change. Advocacy offers individuals the opportunity to participate in the democratic process in support of a particular cause or policy. For more information contact Gavin Thornton, Advocacy Committee Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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2019 PIC Board-Approved Legislative Priorities
PIC has adopted the following priorities for the 2019 Legislative Session:
Add $16.5 million to the base budget to provide a stable and secure funding source for proven-effective homelessness programs.
In 2018, the legislature appropriated $30 million for Ohana Zones and an additional $13.5 million for the proven-effective programs below. For 2019, Partners in Care is requesting that $16.5 million be placed into the base-budget to provide funding stability for these necessary, core anti-homelessness programs.
Outreach – connects people experiencing homelessness with the resources they need to escape it.
Rapid Rehousing – helps individuals and families exit homelessness quickly and return to permanent housing by providing, rental stipends, assistance in finding housing, and case management services.
Housing First – provides housing and wrap around services to Hawai‘i’s chronically homeless population—people who typically consume high levels of costly emergency services—generating a net savings of $28,000 per client per year.
Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) – grants police officers the discretion to redirect low-level offenders to case managers rather than arresting them, breaking the ineffective and expensive revolving cycle of arrest, incarceration, release, and back to addiction and the streets.
Family Assessment Centers – quickly connect homeless families with critical resources (in its first year, the Kakaako FAC housed 91% or 54 of the homeless families it served within 81 days, with 100% of those families remaining housed).
Coordinated Statewide Homelessness Initiative (CSHI) – provides a one-time cash infusion for people on the cusp of homelessness, credited as playing a significant role in a 25% reduction in evictions on Oahu in 2017.
Appropriate $200 million for low-income housing, with $75 million going toward Permanent Supportive Housing.
The 2018 legislature boldly appropriated $200 million for low-income housing, which must become a new baseline if we are going to gain ground on the housing crisis.
Seventy-four percent of housing demand is for Hawai‘i households making under $75,000 a year. Investing $125 million in the Rental Housing Revolving Fund will help build the housing Hawai‘i’s residents need.
It costs significantly less to provide people experiencing chronic homelessness with permanent housing and treatment than it does to treat them on the street. By investing $75 million a year for ten years, we can housing all 1,700 people experiencing chronic homelessness in Hawai‘i while saving over $2.5 billion in medical and other costs.
Appropriate $2.3 million for new pilot programs to test new innovations that can address homelessness for certain vulnerable populations.
Short-Term Rental Assistance for Families ($800,000) – provides time-limited rental assistance of up to $500, coupled with financial case management, to launch families on the edge of homelessness toward economic stability.
Long-Term Rental Assistance for Kupuna – provides rental assistance of up to $1,000 per month, so Kupuna on fixed-incomes who are unable to cope with increasing rents pay 50% of their income toward rent.
Improve the Assisted Community Treatment Act to more effectively assist people with severe mental illness.
People experiencing psychosis, who are unable to make informed decisions regarding treatment, are not responsive to homelessness interventions, are cycling in and out of hospitals and jails, and are posing a threat to their own health. PIC supports changes that will make the 2013 Assisted Community Treatment (ACT) Act more effective by, for example, clarifying that the Office of Public Guardian has the right to consent to treatment that includes psychiatric medication.
Click here to read about PIC’s priority-setting process.