Hawaii Homeless Per Capita Rate Rises

Angelique Kokal, Reporter

According to federal statistics, Hawaii now has the highest homeless per capita rate across the entire nation. The state coordinator on homelessness says the population of unsheltered families has increased 46 percent over the course of the past year of 2014 to 2015.

The Associated Press reports the state currently has 487 homeless per 100,000 people. The number has started its increase since 2010, even as national rates fall.

Officials state the increase is due to rising costs throughout the islands, low wages, and limited, expensive land.

Changes in public housing policy and mental health services have also contributed to the rising homeless rate in the past and are still currently effecting it.