Pruitt, A. S., Meyer, M. S., & Barile, J. P.
Prepared for Partners in Care, Honolulu, H.I.
Publication year: 2022

This report examines racial equity in homeless services in Honolulu County by analyzing service enrollments and housing outcomes by racial group. Researchers examined 2020 Point-in-Time Count (PIT) data and service enrollments in the Honolulu Continuum of Care’s (CoC) Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) between July 1, 2020 & June 30, 2021, comparing the percentage of each racial group comprising the indicator of interest (e.g., service enrollments) to the percentage of each racial group in the larger population (e.g., the homeless population). Ultimately, equity will be reached when no group is over/underrepresented in homelessness or service enrollments and when all racial groups have what they need to be successful in housing. Findings suggest that the Honolulu CoC is engaging with racial groups equitably and conducting coordinated assessments at an equitable rate. However, racial bias appears with regard to service types accessed, particularly for those programs accessed only through CES. Results suggest that VI-SPDAT scores contribute to racial disparities in service type and that racial disparities are introduced systematically through the assessment used in the CES prioritization process. Once individuals move to permanent housing, each racial group is just as likely to remain housed, but all racial groups do not have equitable access to permanent housing programs and do not exit to permanent destinations at an equitable rate. Additionally, disaggregating Asian and Pacific Islander  and multiracial groups demonstrated important racial disparities that may have otherwise gone undetected, in particular, for individuals identifying as Micronesian. This report provides recommendations for achieving racial equity.