The Hawai'i Interagency Council on Homelessness (HICH) is seeking public input this month on its draft strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness in Hawai'i. HICH will be holding eight community sessions throughout the state to go over key points and get feedback on the draft of the State Plan. It is posted online for the public to review as well as comment at http://hawaii.gov/dhs/HomelessnessPlan.
"Thanks to the collaborative work of the Interagency Council, we've taken great steps in moving forward on the state's homelessness initiatives," said Governor Neil Abercrombie. "We are aiming to have a solid statewide plan in place by June to guide our ongoing efforts in confronting homelessness."
Lynn Heirakuji, Interim Vice Chair of the HICH, added, "We believe it is important to hear the public's thoughts on the draft State Plan because we want it to be a community based and state-wide call to action. We hope that many people will either attend the meetings or take a moment to view the Plan online and give us comments."
The meeting locations, dates and times are:
Kaua'i War Memorial Convention Center
March 16; 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
West Hawai'i Civic Center, Kona
March 19; 10 a.m. to noon
Aunty Sally's Lu'au Hale, Hilo
March 19; 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Mitchell Pau'ole Center, Moloka'i
March 20; 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc.
March 21; noon to 2 p.m.
Central Union Church,
Mauka Room, Parish Hall,
March 28; 10 a.m. to noon
Waialua Community Center, Hale'iwa
March 29; 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Kapolei Hale, Conference Room C
March 30; 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Those planning to attend a meeting are encouraged to visit http://hawaii.gov/dhs/HomelessnessPlan to view the Plan in advance and to confirm meeting dates, times, and locations. Members of the community who are unable to attend meetings may also offer their comments online at that website.
These community meetings are a continuation of the statewide, coordinated effort to address homelessness which started with the appointment of the first Governor's Coordinator on Homelessness and progressed with the work of the 90-Day Action Plan to Address Homelessness, and the establishment of the HICH.
The draft State Plan contains four overarching goals 11 objectives, and numerous strategies. It is closely aligned with the 2010 Federal homelessness plan, entitled, Opening Doors -- Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness. The four overarching goals in the draft State Plan are:
Retool the homeless crisis response system
Increase access to stable and affordable housing
Increase economic stability and self-sufficiency
Improve health and stability
The HICH is responsible for developing for the Governor's review and approval, a statewide Strategic Plan to prevent and end homelessness, and advising on the Plan's implementation.