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Maui's homeless solutions committee outlines critical plans for leadership

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HPR

The volunteer-based Commission on Healing Solutions for Homelessness on Maui has been operational for about 18 months, but most of that time has been spent without leadership and a place to meet that would keep in compliance with Sunshine Laws.

New Chair Zhantell Lindo told the Maui County Council’s Affordable Housing Committee that the commission did not have proper training or understanding of its role.

"One of the critical parts that we are missing right now is permanent staffing in order to run our commission," Lindo explained. She said she would like to see training done in December, or around the start of the new year.

The commission’s goal is to advise and provide ideas to county officials to combat homelessness.

As chair, Lindo said she would like to see more collaboration and better data.

"One of the first things that I would like to do as the chair is to encourage that our council members form a better relationship with the district representation on this commission, and help us establish a way to get the funding we need to get correct and specific data in each a baseline in each district," Lindo said.

"And I think that will help us set more realistic and tangible goals as we go forward."

Since the committee was stood up, it was investigated and recommended to the county for a Medical Outreach pilot project, although the county had already begun a program prior to the pandemic.

"I just wanted to say that the Medical Outreach program's goal is to have more unsheltered people receive medical care in the field and to improve their access to centered-base treatment, including medical and behavioral health," Lindo said.

An updated commission report is expected in April, ahead of the next fiscal year.

Sabrina Bodon is a general assignment reporter at Hawaiʻi Public Radio. Contact her at sbodon@hawaiipublicradio.org or 808-792-8252.
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