Homelessness anticipated to gradually rise


  • A handwritten sign propped on a homeless encampment asks for donations of Pine-Sol and bleach in Hilo on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021.

  • A homeless man tries to find some belongings after police and DLNR enforcement officers clear an encampment across from the volleyball court on Alii Drive Wednesday morning. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • Hawaii County workers, police and DLNR enforcement personnel remove remnants of a homeless camp across from the volleyball court on Alii Drive on Wednesday. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

The state’s point man on homeless issues told lawmakers Wednesday he expects the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic to result in a gradual increase in homelessness statewide over the next few years.