In recent years, after the recession hit advocates say those unemployed on the mainland heard Hawaii’s job market was better, moved here, but couldn’t make it.

Read more: they say, smaller, cheaper hotels, hostels have all but evaporated — subtracting an option for temporary housing.

“I think there’s a sense of urgency, because the visibility has really increased,” said Connie Mitchell, executive director of the Institute of Human Services.

According to the Department of Human Services, there are a total of 4,556 homeless people on Oahu streets.

3091 were sheltered in homeless emergency or transitional shelters and 1,465 were unsheltered — with beds still available for about a third of that.

“I was a dealer, constantly doing it ice and it’s not a good sight on this island,” said Tracy Correia, who said she has been clean and sober for several years now.

She says drug addiction is a common reason for rejecting shelters, but said it was a blessing in her journey toward recovery.

Mitchell said their focus is shifting.

“We don’t want to make more shelters. We want to get them into permanent homes,” she said.

– Mahalo KITV!

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