some challenges,” said Sharon Graham, CHA convener since July 1. “The administration needs to come up with a plan.”
The agency’s Housing First Program helps individuals get into homes before receiving services for substance abuse rehabilitation, case management and financial education. The program has placed 29 people in permanent housing this year.
For 2017, the county has received $77,000 in federal funding, a small portion of the funds available for direct service providers including nonprofits. These programs can help reduce costs associated with emergency services and even incarceration.
“We need a program that takes care of the local families first,” said Councilmember Ross Kagawa. “I don’t believe we want to become the homeless capitol of the United States.”
Solutions discussed included building tiny houses, providing portable showers and toilets, or establishing encampments close to services, jobs, transportation and hygenic facilities. However, difficulties remain in finding willing landowners and even Section 8 (a federal rent-assistance program) landlords.
Creating “Safe Zones,” public areas where people can sleep in their car or find a safe place overnight, has not been widely accepted by housing communities, Graham said.
Kauai Police Department officials attended the meeting and said they are willing to coordinate efforts with county officials by removing derelict vehicles and responding quickly to victims of crime.
Areas they identified as having large houseless com-