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Focalize is leading a 5-year system-wide evaluation of the implementation of Housing First on Hawaii, Kauai, Oahu, and Maui, looking at the Ohana Zone initiative - accelerator funding providing solutions for homelessness.

Our team is using Active Implementation Frameworks with a special focus on understanding the situation today and analyzing what is needed to solve homelessness in Hawaii, while exploring and applying best practices of Housing First.

We are responsible for all data collection, assessments, recommendations, and reporting to the State Administrator, Governor’s Office, and State Legislature.

The Focalize evaluation will inform the Governor’s 10-year plan for the state, as well as providing implementation coaching for government leaders.

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Focalize began this engagement in July 2019, and the contract was renewed in 2021 to increase the initial 3-year period to a 5-year engagement.

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The Ohana Zone initiative is highly successful, and the report is informing the governor's 10-year plan to address homelessness.

$30M has been assigned toward Ohana Zones as unrestricted funds to solve homelessness, aligning with Housing First. This was originally for 6 projects, but ended up exceeding expectations with 17, and has been wildly successful.

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Both the inventory of affordable housing units and the rate of placement into housing are increasing, reflecting the hard-won impact of system change due to a Housing First approach.

  • Permanent housing inventory has increased 250%
  • Time for housing placement has reduced by more than 40%
  • Exits to permanent housing are up 26% since a low in 2016
  • Overall census declined 18% since a high in 2016

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To work across government divisions of Hawaii State Department of Human Services (DHS) to streamline the contracting process and improve the timeliness of contract execution.

To design and implement Continuous Quality Improvement for all outreach, shelter, and rental relief services contracted by the DHS Homeless Programs Office across four islands.

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