The Conversation on Homelessness, a Weeklong Series on HPR Starts September 14
On Monday, September 14, Hawai?i Public Radio launches a weeklong series bringing national perspective to our state's homelessness problem. On the talk program The Conversation (airing on HPR-2, weekdays from 8 to 9 a.m.), guests who have addressed the issue in their own cities, as well as across the country, will offer context and comment on Hawai?i's current status. Each of the islands' four mayors (Alan Arakawa, Maui County; Kirk Caldwell, City & County of Honolulu; Bernard Carvalho, Kaua?i County; and Billy Kenoi, Hawai?i County), as well as Scott Morishige, recently appointed Hawai?i state coordinator on homelessness, have also been invited to speak of their offices' respective efforts.
The Conversation Co-host and HPR's Executive Producer of Talk Programs Beth-Ann Kozlovich has assembled a line-up of such national speakers as Matthew Doherty, executive director of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness; Dr. Sam Tsemberis, founder and CEO of Pathways to Housing; Nan Roman, president and CEO of the National Alliance to End Homelessness; Lloyd Pendleton, director of the Homeless Task Force for the State of Utah; and Jennifer Ho, senior advisor for housing and services to HUD Secretary Julián Castro.
Additionally, The Conversation Co-host Chris Vandercook will be exploring how homelessness affects Honolulu's arts and culture community. His guests include Donna Blanchard, managing director, Kumu Kahua Theatre; Diana Kim, a photojournalist who has documented her father's homelessness; and two local arts practitioners, Nikki Guess and Jeanné Wynne Herring, finding that pursuing their passion have left them virtually homeless.
On Town Square (HPR-2, September 17 from 5 – 6 p.m.), host Kozlovich moderates a roundtable of three representatives from O?ahu's top homeless outreach providers: Greg Payton, chair, Partners in Care; Sheila Beckham, chief executive officer, Waikiki Health; and Scott Fuji, interim executive director of PHOCUSED. Listeners may participate in this live forum by calling in their questions to (808) 941-3689, or toll-free (877) 941-3689.
HPR President and General Manager Michael Titterton said, "The plight of the homeless is one about which the entire HPR staff feels very deeply. As a news and information source, we concluded that we could best contribute to our community's ongoing discussion by presenting some of the innovations proving successful in other parts of the country. This weeklong series on homelessness is HPR's attempt to elevate the conversation on homelessness by taking a look at the subject from the outside in. We are aided immensely by Beth-Ann’s long-term study of the subject and her established network of speakers."
Founder of Pathways to Housing and a trained psychologist Sam Tsemberis is a guest in the first hour of the series on the morning of September 14. He is credited, in a May 6, 2015 article in The Washington Post, with all but "solving" chronic homelessness. His simple solution: give homes to the homeless and prioritize those with mental or physical disabilities who have been homeless for longer than a year; his model is known as "housing first." Post reporter Terrence McCoy wrote, "Late last month, Utah, the latest laboratory for Tsemberis's models, reported it has nearly eradicated chronic homelessness. Phoenix, an earlier test case, eliminated chronic homelessness among veterans. Then New Orleans housed every homeless veteran."
Jennifer Ho speaks to Beth-Ann Kozlovich on The Conversation on the final day of the series, September 18. Ho wrote on November 12, 2014 in HUD’s official blog "The HUDdle," "Those on the front lines of caring for those experiencing homelessness will tell you today's homelessness is not the same challenge it was even 20 years ago. Our response must rise to this different challenge. We can never surrender to the idea that homelessness is an unavoidable part of the human condition and that there will always be 'the homeless among us.' Instead of turning a blind eye, we must break the cycle of homelessness and not just because it saves taxpayer dollars to do so, but because it is who we are as a nation."
About The Conversation
Now in its fifth year on HPR-2, this daily hour of live talk about public affairs, ideas, culture and the arts is dedicated to creating a platform for the many voices of Hawai?i. Guests with a perspective on the islands, whether from in or outside of the state, sit down with co-hosts Beth-Ann Kozlovich and Chris Vandercook weekday mornings at 8:00 a.m. (HST). Every day brings a "Reality Check" with CivilBeat.com, a cross-section of international news from sources includingNPR, the BBC World Service, and Deutsche Welle, and a “Backyard Quiz” on Hawai?i’s history, geography, myth, music, and more. Sometimes there are even mini-musical performances by local and visiting artists, some composed right on the spot. There are always ongoing layers to The Conversation. The program is archived on hpr2.org.
About Town Square
Hosted and produced by Beth-Ann Kozlovich, Town Square is one of the oldest of Hawai?i Public Radio's public affairs programs. Since its inception in 1999, it has provided an interactive forum for political, social, educational, and cultural issues of local, national, and international importance. Often the conversation includes guests and participants from outside Hawai?i, giving access to newsmakers and those yet to make news. Discussions are lively and almost always civil. Airs on HPR-2, Thursday 5:00 p.m. (HST). Phone lines are open during that hour: (808) 941-3689; toll-free (877) 941-3689.