Abercrombie Creates Interagency Council on Homelessness
By Wendy Osher
Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa joins the state’s other Mayors as members of the Governor’s new State Interagency Council on Homelessness.
Governor Neil Abercrombie last week signed an executive order that establishes the 24-member Council, which will be tasked with developing a unified plan on addressing homelessness.
The creation of the Council was first announced in May by the Governor and Marc Alexander, the Governor’s Coordinator on Homelessness. The establishment of the Council is part of the state’s 90-Day Plan on Homelessness.
“We are continuing to bring people together, taking responsibility and building partnerships in our united efforts to end homelessness in Hawai’i,” said Governor Abercrombie.
The group is composed of state department directors, federal agency representatives, and community leaders including:
- Governor Abercrombie, who will serve as Chair
- Marc Alexander, the Governor’s Coordinator on Homeless, who will serve as Vice Chair
- Patricia McManaman, Director of the Department of Human Services (DHS)
- Loretta Fuddy, Director of the Department of Health (DOH)
- Dwight Takamine, Director of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR)
- Jodie Maesaka-Hirata, Director of the Department of Public Safety (PSD)
- Richard Lim, Director of the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT)
- Major General Darryll Wong, Adjutant General of the Department of Defense (DOD)
- David Louie, Attorney General, Department of the Attorney General
- Kathryn Matayoshi, Superintendent of the Department of Education (DOE)
- Mayor Peter Carlisle, City & County of Honolulu
- Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Kaua’i County
- Mayor William Kenoi, Hawai’i County
- Mayor Alan Arakawa, Maui County
- Darryl Vincent, Chair of Partners in Care (City & County of Honolulu)
“Bringing cabinet-level leadership together with federal agencies and the private sector will force everyone to elevate their focus on this issue,” said Alexander. “Many people have been working diligently to address homelessness, but the establishment of this council will increase coordination and help take these efforts to the next level.”
Key mandates for the Council include:
- Increasing transitional and permanent housing options
- Acquiring increased federal funding to support homeless efforts
- Replicating successful initiatives implemented in other states
- Increasing the integration of social, health, training, and housing services to reduce duplication among homeless assistance programs
The Council will meet quarterly and report annually to the Governor, the Legislature and county mayors, including policy recommendations supporting the statewide plan. The first meeting of the Council is tentatively scheduled for early August.
*** Supporting information courtesy Office of the Governor, State of Hawai’i.