U.S.VETS Leading Charge with 100,000 Homes Campaign in Hawaii
The 100,000 Homes Campaign is a national effort to house the most vulnerable, chronically homeless individuals across the nation. In each state, city, or county, there is a Continuum of Care (CoC), and the CoC is typically tasked with leading this effort since there is no additional funding for this project.The CoC uses existing resources in this concentrated effort to house the most vulnerable people and provide comprehensive services. Darryl Vincent, the COO of U.S.VETS, is the current chairperson for Oahu’s CoC, also known as Partners in Care (PIC), homeless coalition. On Sunday, September 16, 2012 PIC held a three hour training, at which over 200 volunteers from the private sector, agencies who serve the homeless, the City & County of Honolulu, the Hawaii State legislature, the Homeless Programs Office, and the Governor’s Coordinator on Homelessness, attended in preparation for registry week which involves data collection. Our very own Darryl Vincent opened the ceremony explaining the importance of the project, current efforts PIC is implementing to tackle homelessness, and thanking the community for its support. Darryl stated, “In Hawaii we have such a rich ‘Ohana’ [extended family], there should be no reason why anyone of our brothers or sisters do not have the opportunity or choice to have a home; it is a shared problem with a shared solution and today is a big step in serving those who need our help the most.”
September 17-19 three outreach teams covering downtown Honolulu, Waikiki, and Waianae areas will register the homeless using a vulnerability index to determine who is most in need (i.e., medically frail, mental health issues, etc.) Once this is complete, agencies will work with this population to place them in permanent or appropriate housing with supportive services. U.S.VETS has two outreach teams who are part of this effort in the downtown Honolulu area (U.S.VETS – Barbers Point Outreach Team lead by Katrisha Bratton) and the Waianae area (U.S.VETS – Waianae Outreach Team lead by Gladys Peraro).
U.S.VETS- Barbers Point has dedicated six of its state funded permanent housing units to this effort in an effort to serve and provide housing to six of the most needy and vulnerable veterans identified during this registry period. Dr. Kim Cook, Executive Director of U.S.VETS – Barbers Point, stated, “We will support this effort with our current resources and ensure that the veterans who are in most need of our help can have access to a place they can call home.” Of course any other veteran can also receive help in our traditional residential back to work program located at Barbers Point, where since 2003 we have served close to 2,000 formerly homeless veterans. She went on to say, “We have been very successful with our traditional program where we have helped over 900 veterans get back to work from 2003-2011 and 65% of the veterans successfully transition to permanent housing.” U.S. VETS – Waianae Executive Director, Gladys Peraro, said, “This 100,000 homes campaign will broaden our services and we look forward to partnering with other providers to make it a successful endeavor in reaching those who need us the most.”