Poverty: The Endless Cycle of Crisis

What do you believe is most responsible for homelessness & poverty in America?

Lack of job opportunities
Poor education
Drug/Alcohol Abuse
Abuse of the welfare system
Medical Reasons
Mental Illnesses
Please Specify:



What made you choose the option you did?

Stereotypes? Expectations? The idea that only those who have done something ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’ in life are homeless?

It is true that of the nearly 15,000 people are homeless each year in Hawaii, a portion of them are on the streets due to drug addiction or other similar issues. However, did you know that 33% of those considered homeless are children? Additionally, 8% are veterans, and the majority have just come across hardships in life.

Why are there so many people on the streets?

The cost of living in Hawaii is one of the highest in the country because of course, it’s the island paradise. However, this means soaring housing costs and low wages, making it hard for many to keep their homes. Additionally, Hawaii’s climate is pleasant year round meaning that people can survive outdoors all year.


What are people doing about this problem?

Well, there are many organizations such as the Affordable Housing and Homeless Alliance that work with the homeless to get them into temporary housing. As for the government, affordable housing is in high demand and the state is working to get people into the units by prioritizing families.


So that solves the problem, right? Just giving them free/cheap housing?

No! Despite people without permanent homes being called ‘homeless,’ there is also the fact that the majority of them are jobless as well, or working minimum wage jobs that aren’t sufficient enough to support themselves and their families.


What needs to be done?

As shown in the model, the highest payoff to both the homeless and the government is if the government provides both housing and jobs to the homeless. This especially benefits the homeless because they are being given the tools for success, and may start to contribute to the economy rather than depending on it for welfare. This benefits the government because while housing does take away a few points, having those in the housing units also having jobs pays back essentially what they ‘owe’ for the affordable housing, and helps the economy. This setup leads those affected by homelessness down the path of improvement, and is the first step in solving the chronic homelessness problem.

Get Involved!


Affordable Housing and Homeless Alliance

Aloha United Way

AUW is a non-profit organization that helps people in all walks of life. Currently, one of their biggest goals is to end homelessness for all families by 2020.

Family Promise of Hawaii

“Our mission is to mobilize existing community resources to aid families with children experiencing homelessness and help them transition to sustainable independence.”

Hawaii Literacy

“Hawaii Literacy’s mission is to help people gain knowledge and skills by providing literacy and lifelong learning services.”

Other Resources:

Hawaii State Department of Human Services

Homeless Programs



“Causes of Homelessness in Hawai?i.” The Kuewa Project. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2017. <>.

“Facts.” Hope Services Hawaii. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2017. <>.

“Hawaii Declares State of Emergency Over Homelessness.” Time. Time, n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2017. <>.

“Hawaii Struggles to Deal with Rising Rate of Homelessness.” Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2017. <>.

Hofschneider, Anita, Denby Fawcett, Natanya Friedheim, and Rui Kaneya. “Homeless in Hawaii | Civil Beat.” Honolulu Civil Beat. N.p., 19 Apr. 2017. Web. 27 Apr. 2017. <>.

Is Public Housing Being Maximized in Hawaii?s Homeless Crisis? KHON2, 23 July 2015. Web. <>.

2015. What It’s Like to Be Homeless in Hawaii, Hawaii. Web. <>.

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