Homeless count up: Report shows Hawaii Island increased by 153 | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Homeless count up: Report shows Hawaii Island increased by 153

The Hawaii Point-In-Time Count, an annual survey of the state’s homeless population, was released Wednesday, and the results were a mixed bag of both encouraging and disconcerting numbers.

The homeless tally statewide increased from 7,620 to 7,921, a jump of 301 homeless individuals, or a total increase of 4 percent. That movement is moderate, however, when compared to leaps made in the previous two years. The homeless population rose by 583 individuals (9.2 percent) between 2013-14 and by 702 individuals (10.1 percent) between 2014-15.

Whether the inflated numbers can or should be spun as a positive simply because they’re expanding more gradually than before is open to discussion.

But State Homeless Coordinator Scott Morishige said the relatively modest increase in the homeless population may be due primarily to improved methodology employed by the inherently error-prone survey system, which tries to capture a sometimes reclusive, moving-target population with as much accuracy as possible.

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