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Teaming up to house homeless

Hawaii News

The City of Honolulu is doubling the amount of money it’s spending on its Housing First program.

Housing First provides permanent housing to homeless people without first demanding sobriety or other conditions. The approach is recognized as a leading way to help chronically homeless people with mental disabilities or substance abuse problems.

Honolulu has been spending about $2 million annually on Housing First since it launched in late 2014. City officials housed 176 people in the program’s first year.

Officials said Friday they’re working with the United States Veterans Initiative to serve more people.

Honolulu will spend an additional $2.2 million on the program, and U.S. VETS will contribute $600,000. The program aims to help up to 150 people and will be open to everyone, not just veterans.

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