INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAI‘I: Who Are Hawai‘i’s Working Poor? | Program


MORE THAN ONE-THIRD OF OUR
ISLAND COMMUNITY, FRIENDS, FAMILY, NEIGHBORS, COWORKERS
ARE STRUGGLING AND WE MAY NEVER KNOW IT. THEY’RE
UNABLE TO MAKE ENDS MEET AND THEY’RE NOT EVEN DEALING WITH
TEMPORARY SETBACK. 37% OF ALL HOUSEHOLDS IN
HAWAI’I CAN’T PAY FOR THEIR BASIC NEEDS.
AND THEIR NUMBERS APPEAR TO BE GROWING.
WHO ARE HAWAI’I’S WORKING POOR? THIS LIVE BROADCAST ON
LIVE STREAM OF INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAII START NOW. [INTRO MUSIC] YUNJI: ALOHA AND WELCOME TO
INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAII…I’M YUNJI DE NIES.
A STUDY OF FINANCIAL HARDSHIP IN HAWAII WAS RECENTLY
RELEASED AS A CALL TO ACTION TO HELP IDENTIFY THOSE IN THE
COMMUNITY WHO PERSONIFY THE ACRONYM ALICE OR THE ASSET
LIMITED, INCOME CONSTRAINED AND EMPLOYED. THE REPORT
EXAMINES THE BASIC AMERICAN BELIEF THAT IF YOU WORK HARD
ENOUGH YOU CAN SUPPORT YOUR FAMILY. THE FINDINGS
SUGGEST THAT IS NOT THE CASE FOR APPROXIMATELY 165
THOUSAND HOUSEHOLDS IN OUR ISLAND STATE. THE STUDY ALSO
DEBUNKS SOME LONG HELD STEREOTYPES AND ASSUMPTIONS
ABOUT THOSE WHO PROVIDE FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR THEIR
FAMILIES BUT COULD BE CONSIDERED “WORKING POOR” .
TONIGHT OUR GUESTS HELP BRING AWARENESS ABOUT A GROUP THAT
IS OFTEN OVER LOOKED – BUT STRUGGLES DAILY JUST TRYING
TO GET BY. WE LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR
PARTICIPATION IN TONIGHT’S SHOW. YOU CAN EMAIL, CALL OR
TWEET YOUR QUESTIONS. AND YOU’LL FIND A LIVE STREAM OF
THIS PROGRAM AT PBSHAWAII.ORG AND THE PBS HAWAII FACEBOOK
PAGE. NOW TO OUR GUESTS….
CONNIE MITCHELL IS THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE
INSTITUTE FOR HUMAN SERVICES NORM BAKER IS THE CHIEF
OPERATING OFFICER OF ALOHA UNITED WAY.
NANI MEDEIROS IS THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF A
NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION. SHE IS ALSO A SINGLE MOM WITH
ONE CHILD, HERE TO SHARE HER OWN FINANCIAL CHALLENGES.
ZI JUN’S PARENTS ARE IMMIGRANTS WITH LOOMING DEBT
AS THE FAMILY STRUGGLES FINANCIALLY, LIVING PAYCHECK
TO PAYCHECK. WELCOME ALL OF YOU. THANK
YOU FOR JOINING US TONIGHT. WHY WAS COMMISSIONED AND WHAT
YOU’RE HOPING TO BRING TO LIGHT.
>>WE COMMISSIONED IT BECAUSE WE WERE CONCERNED THAT GROUP
OF, OUR POPULATION THAT IS ABOVE POVERTY LEVEL BUT BELOW
SELF-KIND OF INCOME. WAS UNDERSERVICED IN THE
COMMUNITY. THEIR NEEDS AND REQUIREMENTS
TO MOVE UP AND BECOME SELF-SUSTAINABLE ARE
UNKNOWN. WE WANTED TO THOUGH HOW WE
COULD START TO HELP THEM.>>Yunji: I WANT TO GRAB THE
FIRST GRAPHIC TO DIVE RIGHT IN.
IF YOU COULD TELL US WHO ARE WE TALKING ABOUT HERE?
>>THE ALICE POPULATION ARE FOLKS ABOVE FEDERAL POVERTY
LEVEL AND BELOW ABOUT $73,000 IN INCOME FOR A FAMILY OF
FOUR. THE INTERESTING THING I THINK
ABOUT THIS CHART IS THAT THE ALICE FAMILIES HAVE NOT
RECOVERED FROM THE RECESSION. GRAPH STARTS OR THE CHARTS
START WITH 2007, FORWARD TO 2015.
AND YOU’LL SEE THROUGHOUT THE RECESSION, FAMILIES FELL FROM
EITHER SELF-SUFFICIENCY INTO ALICE OR ALICE INTO POVERTY.
AND RIGHT NOW, THERE’S ABOUT 7% OF HOUSEHOLDS IN HAWAII
THAT FELL INTO THE ALICE POPULATION OR FEDERAL POVERTY
LEVEL POPULATION. HAVE NOT RECOVERED.
7% DOESN’T SOUND LIKE A LOT, BUT 7% REPRESENTS 31,500
HOUSEHOLDS IN HAWAI’I. THOSE FOLKS ARE LIVING
PAYCHECK TO PAYCHECK.>>WHEN I LOOK AT THOSE
NUMBERS, TALKING ABOUT HALF OF OUR POPULATION IN THE
ISLAND STATE EITHER LIVING AT POVERTY LEVEL OR JUST ABOVE.
>>ACTUAL PERCENTAGE IS 48%. THERE’S 11% OF OUR POPULATION
IN POVERTY. 47%, OR 37% IN ALICE.
>>Yunji: CONNIE, WONDER IF YOU CAN JUMP IN ON THIS.
YOUR AGENCY IS SERVING FOLKS OFTEN RIGHT AT THAT POVERTY
THRESHOLD. THAT SECOND TIER, HOW MANY OF
THOSE FOLKS DO YOU SEE COME IN AND OUT OF YOUR AGENCY?
>>WE ALSO SEEM OF THE ALICE POPULATION PAUSE WE HAVE
HOUSING PROGRAMS THAT ARE FOR PEOPLE IN HOUSING CRISES.
SO IF SOMEONE JUST LOST A JOB AND THEY ARE FALLING BEHIND IN
RENT, AND EXPERIENCING EVICTION AT THIS POINT, THEY
MAY HAVE BEEN HOUSED FOR A LONG TIME.
AND THEY’RE NOW EXPERIENCING HOUSING CRISIS AND WE’RE
THERE TO HELP THEM AS WELL. SO PEOPLE THINK OF US AS ONLY
HELPING HOMELESS PEOPLE. THE PEOPLE JUST BECOMING
HOMELESS ARE THE PEOPLE WHO AT RISK FOR HOMELESSNESS, REALLY
ARE PEOPLE THAT WE SERVE ALSO.>>Yunji: NANI, BEFORE WE
STARTED THIS OUR SHOW TONIGHT, WE WERE TALKING
ABOUT THE GREEN ROOM AND WE ASKED YOU TO COME TONIGHT TO
SHARE YOUR OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.
WHAT STRUCK ME, YOU WORK FULL-TIME.
WORK VERY HARD AS YOU SAID. YOU’RE RIGHT AT THE TOP OF
THAT GRAPH. TELL US ABOUT THAT.
>>SO YEAH, I GUESS I AM AT THAT HIGHER END OF SPECTRUM.
AND I DON’T THINK IT ALL, I SOMETIMES THINK OF MYSELF AS
STRUGGLING MONTH-TO-MONTH. I DON’T THINK OF MYSELF AS
POOR. I THINK I GIVE MY DAUGHTER AND
I A COMFORTABLE LIFE. BUT THERE’S NOT GOING TO BE
ANY HUGE GETTING HEAD FOR US. I’M ALMOST 100% CERTAIN I WILL
NEVER BE ABLE TO BUY MY OWN HOME.
SAVING FOR DEPOSIT IS COMPLETELY OUT OF GRASP
ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU’RE TALKING 30% DOWN.
CASH DOWN AND THINGS LIKE THAT.
IN THAT SENSE, I DEFINITELY CAN IDENTIFY WITH THE PART OF
ALICE THAT YOU’RE GETTING BY JUST FINE.
BUT YOU’RE NOT GETTING AHEAD AND YOU MAY NEVER GET AHEAD.
FOLLOW ALL RULES, WORK HARD. MAKE GOOD MONEY.
PAY YOUR BILLS. RESPONSIBLE MAKE THE RIGHT
CHOICES. BUT YOU’RE NOT GOING TO HAVE
A WHOLE LOT OF ASSETS. ASSET LIMITED.
WHEN WE THINK ABOUT SOMEONE IN YOUR SITUATION OR IN THAT SORT
OF, WHOLE GAP THAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT, FACING A
CRISIS, A CAR ACCIDENT, OR EVEN JUST A CAR BREAKING DOWN,
OR A MEDICAL EMERGENCY, I MEAN, THAT IS A VERY
VULNERABLE PLACE TO BE.>>ABSOLUTELY.
I MEAN, NOT SO MUCH CRISIS, IN MY OWN PERSONAL SITUATION.
I EXPERIENCED ABRUPT INCREASE IN THE LAST YEAR OF ABOUT
$300. THAT’S HUGE FOR ME.
I DID NOT GET A BUMP IN MY INCOME FOR $300 A MONTH.
THERE’S NOTHING LEFT OVER. EVERY MONTH.
BECAUSE OF THAT. FOR MEDICAL CRISIS, OR
TRAFFIC ACCIDENT, LOSS OF JOB, LAID OFF, YEAH, THOSE CAN
BE CATASTROPHIC I THINK FOR FAMILIES LIKE MYSELF.
ESPECIALLY IF THEY DON’T HAVE A SAVINGS ON THE SIDE ALREADY.
OR IF THEY DON’T HAVE A SAFETY NET.
IN PLACE MEANING FAMILY OR FRIENDS.
WHO CAN STEP IN AND HELP THEM.>>Yunji: I WANT TO BRING YOUR
PERSPECTIVE IN ON THIS. WE TALKED ABOUT YOUR FAMILY AT
THE START OF THE SHOW. BOTH OF YOUR PARENTS ARE
WORKING IMMIGRANTS. YOU’RE THE TRANSLATOR IF YOU
WILL, TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR FAMILY.
>>MY FAMILY CAME TO HAWAII AROUND 2003.
THEY TRIED LEARNING ENGLISH, BUT THEY COULDN’T LEARN THE
LANGUAGE. SO THEY HAD TO FIND JOBS THAT
DOESN’T REQUIRE. MY DAD WORK AS A COOK.
AND HE GOES TO WORK, SIX DAYS A WEEK AND HARDLY GETS ANY
TIME OFF TO SPEND WITH THE FAMILY.
MOTHER WORKS ODD JOBS AROUND CHINATOWN, HELPING PEOPLE
BECAUSE SHE CAN’T INTERACT WITH TOO MUCH ENGLISH
SPEAKERS. AND OUR FAMILY, WE GET BY
MONTHLY. WE LIVE BASICALLY PAYCHECK TO
PAY CHECK. ANY MONEY MY DAD AND MOM
MAKES, I SEE IT PRETTY MUCH DISAPPEAR BY THE END OF MONTH,
BUYING FOOD, PAYING FOR NECESSITIES.
HARDLY ANY GOES INTO SAVINGS. VERY SCARY, WHEN YOU HAVE
THINGS SUCH AS ACCIDENTS OR MY DAD, MY DAD’S MOTORCYCLE,
MODE OF TRANSPORTATION WAS STONE.
WE HAVE TO TAP INTO OUR BANK ACCOUNT FOR MONEY TO PAY FOR
NEW VEHICLE AND WHEN THAT HAPPENS, BECAUSE OF HOW WE’RE
LIVING PAYCHECK TO PAY CHECK, THAT LIKE AMOUNT IN THE BANK
DOESN’T GO UP. IT ONLY GOES DONE.
>>Yunji: I WANT TO BRING IN GRAPHIC I THINK GRAPHIC
NUMBER 6. ILLUSTRATES A LOT OF WHAT
WE’RE TALKING ABOUT TONIGHT. INFORMAL POLL WE DID ON OUR
INSTAGRAM PAGE EARLIER TODAY. WHICH IS ASKING DO YOU KNOW
ANYONE WHO WOULD BE CONSIDERED WORKING POOR?
96% OF YOU, OF COURSE, THIS IS UNSCIENTIFIC BECAUSE THIS IS
INSTAGRAM. ANSWERED YES.
AND NORM, WHEN YOU’RE HEARING BOTH MINA AND JUN TALK ABOUT
THEIR OWN EXPERIENCES AROUND THIS, THIS IS PEOPLE WE KNOW.
>>IT’S THE PEOPLE THAT MAKE OUR LIFE WHAT IT IS.
FOLKS WAITING ON US. PEOPLE THAT ARE WORKING IN
RETAIL STORES. FIXING OUR CARS.
HELPING US WHEN WE’RE AT THE HOSPITAL.
IT’S THE FOLKS THAT MAKE OUR LIFE WHAT IT IS.
AND YET, THEY’RE AS BOTH OF OUR OTHER GUESTS HAVE SAID,
LIVING PAYCHECK TO PAYCHECK, CAN’T GET AHEAD, CAN’T PUT
MONEY ASIDE, TO PROGRESS.>>Yunji: WHAT DOES THAT DO TO
SOMEONE IF THEY HAVE THAT KIND OF STRESS CONSTANTLY IN THEIR
LIFE?>>IT GETS VERY, VERY
DIFFICULT TO FEEL CONFIDENT ABOUT YOUR FUTURE.
IT TAKES AWAY A LOT OF MOTIVATION.
FOR DOING MORE. BECAUSE OFTEN, WHEN PEOPLE
TRY DO MORE AND THEY DON’T SEE THE BENEFIT OF IT, THEY
DECIDE, WELL, IT’S REALLY NOT MAKING A DIFFERENCE.
AND SO IF A PERSON, BEFORE, COULD WORK A SECOND JOB AND
REALLY FELT LIKE IT MADE A DIFFERENCE, THEN WOW, THEY
WOULD GO AFTER A SECOND JOB. BUT NOWADAYS, I THAT I LOT OF
PEOPLE FEEL LIKE EVEN WHEN THEY TAKE THE SECOND JOB, IT’S
NOT REALLY QUITE DOING THE TRICK IN TERMS OF REALLY
GIVING THEM EXTRA. IN THEIR LIFE OR FAMILY.
SO A LOT OF MOTIVATION BEGINS TO WANE AWAY.
>>Yunji: WE WERE TALKING EARLIER, YOU WERE SAYING THAT
YOUR FATHER HAD GOTTEN A RAISE.
THAT HAD ACTUALLY A NEGATIVE IMPACT ON YOUR FAMILY.
TELL US ABOUT THAT.>>GOTTEN A RAISE AFTER
GETTING A NEW POSITION IN CHINATOWN AS A COOK.
THE RAISE IS REALLY NICE. FAMILY IS HAPPY ABOUT IT.
BUT LATER ON, REALIZED BECAUSE THE RAISE, SOME
BENEFITS WE WERE GETTING ACTUALLY WAS TAKEN AWAY AND WE
NO LONGER RECEIVE THOSE BENEFITS.
AND IN THAT CASE, OUR TOTAL, LIKE HOUSEHOLD INCOME
DECREASED DESPITE MY DAD WORKING HARD EVERY DAY, AND
EARNING THAT RAISE THAT WE WERE SO HAPPY ABOUT
ORIGINALLY.>>Yunji: HOW COMMON IS THAT?
>>FAR MORE COMMON THAN YOU WOULD EVER KNOW.
MANY OF THE GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS HAVE
CLIFFS. YOU HIT A CERTAIN INCOME, AND
YOU ARE LOCKED OUT OF THE PROGRAM.
WHAT HAPPENS IS PEOPLE LOSE A BENEFIT MUCH LIKE HE HAS
DESCRIBED, AND THEY’RE ACTUALLY GOING BACKWARDS BY
PROGRESSING. THE REAL PROBLEM WITH THAT IS
THE SITUATION THAT THE WAY IT EXISTS IS INCENTIVIZING
PEOPLE TO REMAIN ON SUPPORT PROGRAMS.
WHERE THE SYSTEM OUGHT TO BE SET UP SO IT INCENTIVIZES
SOMEBODY TO CONTINUALLY INCREASE THEIR INCOME.
PEOPLE ARE MAKING WISE CHOICES IN THIS CASE, HIS
FATHER HAD KNOWN THAT, HE MIGHT HAVE TURNED DOWN THE
RAISE. THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN A VERY
WISE CHOICE FOR HIS FAMILY. I WANT TO BRING IN THE
AUDIENCE AND REMEMBER, YOU CAN CALL IN, TWEET US OR LEAVE
A MESSAGE ON FACEBOOK. JASON FROM HONOLULU SAYS
TONIGHT, THEY COULD CHANGE AS EASILY BY MAKING LAWS THAT
HIGHRISE APARTMENTS MUST HAVE A NUMBER OF SLIDING SCALE
RENTAL ROOMS, STATE HAS A LOT OF PROPERTY.
THEY COULD DEVELOP AND BUILD THEIR OWN HIGHRISE SLIDING
SCALE APARTMENTS. A LOT OF THESE ISSUES, ISSUE
IS HOUSING. YOU MENTIONED IN YOUR OWN
CASE, RENT GOING UP. IS THERE A SOLUTION THAT YOU
SEE WHEN IT COMES, WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS IDEA? HOW
LONG IS THE SHOW?>>I THINK THEY’RE ABSOLUTELY
SOLUTIONS OUT THERE. I WILL SAY IT’S NOT AS SIMPLE
AS HE LAYS OUT IT OUT TO BE. NEED VARIETY OF HOUSES AT
DIFFERENT PRICE POINTS? ABSOLUTELY.
STARTING WITH THAT, VARIETY OF HOUSING OPTIONS MEANS IF
WE’RE CALLING IN THE GOVERNMENT, OPENING UP YOUR
MIND TO THE IDEA THAT NOT EVERYBODY IS GOING TO BE ABLE
TO HAVE A SINGLE FAMILY HOME. NOT EVERYBODY IS GOING TO BE
ABLE TO HAVE A CONDOMINIUM. HIGHRISE, WALK-UP, WHAT HAVE
YOU. LIMITED LAND SUPPLY ON AN
ISLAND. THINGS THAT MAY BE, 20, 30
YEARS AGO, NO ONE EVER THOUGHT WE WOULD HAVE IN HAWAI’I, NOW
MIGHT HAVE TO CONSIDER. I THINK TINY HOMES ARE AN
EXCELLENT POSSIBILITY. ESPECIALLY FOR A GENERATION
THAT DOESN’T VALUE SO MUCH SPACE AND ITEM AND
MATERIALISM AS THE PREVIOUS GENERATIONS HAVE.
THINGS LIKE CONTAINER HOMES. DIFFERENT KINDS OF
DISTRICTING THAT WE HAVEN’T CONSIDERED YET, FINANCING
OPTIONS THAT WE HAVEN’T CONSIDERED YET.
I PERSONALLY DO NOT BELIEVE GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE THE
SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM OF HOUSING.
I DO NOT BELIEVE GOVERNMENT SHOULD REGULATE THE HOUSING
MARKET. BUT I THINK TOGETHER,
GOVERNMENT WHICH DOES HAVE A CERTAIN RESPONSIBILITY, I
THINK TO ITS CITIZENS ON CERTAIN LEVELS, AND THE
PRIVATE SECTOR, CAN WORK TOGETHER AND COME UP WITH A
SOLUTION. I WISH WE’D SEEN THAT.
DISAPPOINTED IN WHAT HE HAVE SEEN, I CAN SAY.
SPENT ALMOST 20 YEARS IN PUBLIC POLICY.
DOING NONPROFIT WORK NOW. BUT I’VE HAD ENOUGH
EXPERIENCE TO KNOW THAT ANSWERS ARE THERE.
AND THE SOLUTIONS ARE THERE. WE NEED TO POLITICAL WILL TO
GET IT DONE.>>Yunji: SPEAKING OF
POLITICAL WILL, I HEAR YOU WANTING TO JUMP IN.
YOU KNOW, RECENT DEVELOPMENT THAT IS REALLY AN EXAMPLE OF
THAT IS THE LEG. BUSINESSMAN IN HONOLULU,
GATHERED A LOT OF DIFFERENT PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITY TO
MAKE THAT HAPPEN. BUT IT ALSO WAS A
PUBLIC/PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP WHERE THE STATE PROVIDED
LAND. CITY PROVIDED
INFRASTRUCTURE, AND THEN IT WAS BUILT WITH A LOT OF PRO
BONO WORK BY BUSINESS PEOPLE. CONTRACTORS.
AND I THINK THAT THAT TYPE OF HOUSING DEFINITELY HAS A
PLACE IN OUR COMMUNITY. STARTER HOMES THAT ARE REALLY
MUCH MORE ECONOMICAL TO OFFER PEOPLE.
THE RENTS THAT ARE BEING CHARGED ARE SOMETHING THAT IS
AFFORDABLE.>>I WANT TO CALL ATTENTION TO
THE FACT THAT HOUSING IS THE THEME ACROSS WHAT WE’RE
TALKING ABOUT. IN THE PAST, WHEN PEOPLE WERE
WORKING AND THEY WERE RENTING AND THEN THEY WOULD BUY A
PLACE, IT MADE A DIFFERENCE BECAUSE THEN YOU WOULD HAVE
THAT ASSET, THAT ALICE IS TALKING ABOUT.
YOU HAVE A HOME, AGAINST WHICH YOU CAN BORROW LATER IN LIFE.
BUT IF YOU DON’T HAVE THAT, IT’S REALLY DIFFICULT THAN TO
HAVE RESOURCES TO DO SOME OF OTHER THINGS.
LIKE TALKING ABOUT GOING TO SCHOOL.
MANY PARENTS ENDED UP TAKING OUT LOANS AGAINST THEIR
HOUSES SO THEIR CHILDREN COULD GO TO COLLEGE OR SEND
THEM TO THE MAINLAND. HAVING A HOME.
WHETHER IT’S AFFORDABLE RENTAL OR A HOME, HOME, YOU
KNOW A HOUSE THAT YOU BUY, IS REALLY IMPORTANT I THINK IN
THE EQUATION.>>PLEASE GO AHEAD.
>>THE WORK THAT HE DID WAS MAGNIFICENT.
PROBLEM IS IT WAS DONE UNDER THE EMERGENCY PROCLAMATION
AND NOTHING IN THE SYSTEM
CHANGED. WHEN HE WAS DONE WITH THE
WORK, NICE OPERATION, NOBODY WENT BACK AND ADJUSTED THE
SYSTEM TO MAKE THAT KIND OF ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE FOR
BROADLY. THAT’S WHAT YOU WERE TALKING
ABOUT EARLIER. WE NEED TO LEARN FROM A, WHAT
WASN’T BASICALLY AN EXPERIMENT AND USE THE
INFORMATION FROM THAT TO GO BACK AND ADJUST THE SYSTEM.
. RIGHT.
IN YOUR OWN CIRCUMSTANCES, YOU KNOW YOU’RE SECOND
SEMESTER SENIOR. HOPING TO GO TO COLLEGE NEXT
YEAR. AS YOU MAKE THOSE DECISIONS,
WHAT KIND OF THINGS ARE FACTORING INTO THAT?
>>WELL, KNOWING MY FAMILY IS LIKE FINANCIAL SITUATION, I
DEFINITELY HAVE A DRIVE TO GO OUT INTO THE WORKFORCE AND
START BEING THE THIRD WORKER OF THE FAMILY AND BRINGING IN
THE INCOME. BUT WE’VE SPOKE BEEN THIS
BEFORE. HOW RAISE AND LIKE INCOME,
ADDITIONAL INCOME TO THE FAMILY COULD GO OFF THE CLIFF.
THAT ALSO SORT OF AFFECTED MY CHOICE.
I COULD BE WORKING PART-TIME JOB RIGHT NOW.
BUT THAT WOULD MEAN THAT ON INFORMATION THAT MY PARENT
WOULD HAVE TO FILL OUT, THEY WOULD HAVE TO INCLUDE THE
INCOME THAT I, YOU KNOW, BRING INTO THE HOUSEHOLD.
AND I MIGHT EVEN LOSE, WE MIGHT EVEN LOSE MORE BENEFIT
BECAUSE OF THE SMALL PART-TIME PAY I’M BRINGING
IN. SO WITH THAT, THOUGHT, I’M
LOOKING TO GO TO COLLEGE, GET A CAREER, AND BE ABLE TO COME
OUT AND WORKED, BRINGING IN LARGE ENOUGH SUM OF MONEY.
SO WE WON’T HAVE TO TRANSITION.
IT WILL BE INSTANT LIKE MY PARENTS WOULD HAVE AN EASIER
TIME SAVING UP AND WORKING. WE WON’T HAVE DEBT OVER US
EVERY MONTH WITH THEIR FANGS AT OUR THROATS.
>>Yunji: IT SOUNDS LIKE IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES NOW, THAT IT’S
A PRETTY STRESSFUL WAY TO LIVE.
>>VERY STRESSFUL. I SEE MY PARENTS COME HOME
EVERY NIGHT AND THEY’RE NOT HAPPY.
THEY KNOW THAT THE MONEY THEY’RE BRINGING IN, IT
DISAPPEARING AS QUICKLY AS THEY IT COMES IN.
AND THAT AFFECTS LIKE THE FAMILY, SORT OF SITUATION.
DEFINITELY PARENTS WANT TO BE THERE FOR THEIR KIDS.
SPEND TIME WITH THEM. IF THEY HAVE TO WORK, FROM
6:00 IN THE MORNING ALL THE WAY TO 7:00 AT NIGHT, WHAT
TIME CAN I SPEND WITH MY DAD?>>Yunji: HOW DO WE HELP
FAMILIES WORKING AS HARD AS WE ARE?
>>WE NEED TO RECOGNIZE FIRST OF ALL, WITH THIS GROUP, IS
THERE AND THEY REQUIRE ASSISTANCE.
THAT WAS THE BASIC DRIVER BEHIND ALOHA UNITED WAY
PUTTING THIS REPORT OUT. WE WANTED TO BRING AWARENESS
TO THE COMMUNITY THAT THERE IS THIS GROUP THAT THEY’RE
MAKING TOO MUCH TO GET THE BENEFITS THAT ARE AVAILABLE
TO THE FOLKS BELOW POVERTY LEVEL.
BUT NOT ENOUGH TO SURVIVE. NOW, WE NEED TO TAKE THAT
INFORMATION AND WE’VE GOTTEN FROM THIS REPORT AND ADJUST.
AND ALOHA UNITED WAY FOR ONE IS GOING TO ADJUST OUR FUTURE
FUNDING PROGRAMS TO FOCUS OUR ATTENTION ON THIS PART OF THE
POPULATION. WE WILL TO MAINTAIN CRISIS
SERVICE. WE DO THAT ALL THE TIME
ANYWAY. BUT IN THE FUTURE, WE’RE GOING
TO TURN OUR FOCUS WITH THE REMAINING DOLLARS ON THE
ALICE POPULATION.>>Yunji: I WANT TO GET INTO A
FEW MORE OF THOSE NUMBERS IF WE COULD GO TO GRAPHIC NUMBER
3. ALSO IN YOUR PACKET THERE.
FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN BY INCOME IN HAWAI’I.
MARRIED FAMILIES, SINGLE FEMALE HEAD OF HOUSEHOLDS AND
MALE SINGLE. SINGLE MALE HEAD OF
HOUSEHOLDS. WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT
THIS GRAPHIC?>>THIS GRAPHIC ACTUALLY ONE
OF THE MORE CONCERNING IN THE WHOLE REPORT.
BECAUSE WHAT IT SAYS IS IF YOU ARE A FEMALE HEAD OF
HOUSEHOLD, WITH CHILDREN, YOUR CHANCES OF BEING IN THE
ALICE POPULATION ARE FIVE OUT OF SIX.
AND WE HEARD FROM NANI EARLIER, SHE’S EXACTLY IN
THAT POPULATION. THE OTHER PART OF IT IS WE
THINK WE DON’T THINK MUCH OF MALE HEADED SINGLE FAMILY,
SINGLE PARENT FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN.
THEY’RE NOT QUITE AT PREVALENT, BUT THEY’RE FAR
LARGER THAN MOST OF US REALIZE.
IN BOTH CASES, WHEN THE CHILDREN ARE YOUNGER, THE
OVERWHELMING PROBLEM IS CHILD CARE.
THEY DON’T HAVE CHILD CARE. THEY CAN’T WORK.
THEY CAN’T WORK THEY CAN’T LIVE.
SO THIS IS A GROUP THAT WE THINK WE NEED TO REALLY FOCUS
SOME ATTENTION ON.>>Yunji: YOU KNOW, NANI,
THESE NUMBERS ARE REPRESENTING WHERE YOU STAND
RIGHT NOW. TELL US WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT
THAT GRAPH, WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT.
>>WELL, I MEAN, I WAS SURPRISED WHEN I HEARD FROM
NORM THAT THAT WAS THE CASE. AND THEN OF COURSE, YEAH, I
WENT OH, MY GOSH. THAT’S ME.
SURPRISING. YOU KNOW, WHEN I FIRST MET
CONNIE, I THINK, THIS WAS BACK WHEN I WORKED IN THE LINGLE
ADMINISTRATION, AT THAT TIME, THE FASTEST GROWING
POPULATION OF HAWAI’I’S HOMELESS WERE SINGLE MOTHERS.
AND IT WAS ONE OF THE REASONS THAT ISSUE OF HOMELESSNESS
TOOK TO ME SO PERSONALLY. I THOUGHT, THAT COULD BE ME.
WHEN I FOUND OUT THIS, INFORMATION, THE SAME WAY.
PROBABLY BECOME VERY ACTIVE AND SUPPORTING ALICE EFFORTS
IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS. YOU KNOW, BUT I THINK
GENERALLY SPEAKING, SINGLE MOMS ARE GROWING SEGMENT.
FOR A VARIETY OF REASONS. I PERSONALLY, YOU KNOW,
BLESSED BY THE EXAMPLE THAT I HAD AS A PARENT.
I WAS RAISED BY A SINGLE FATHER.
AND AT THE END OF IT, ALL THE BOTTOM LINE IS FAMILY FIRST.
HE ALWAYS PUT US FIRST. THAT WAS MY EXAMPLE.
AND SO THAT HOW I PARENT. MY DAUGHTER COMES FIRST.
EVERY DECISION I MAKE, IT IS WITH HER IN MIND.
CHILD CARE, I MADE SURE SHE HAD CHILD CARE AND SHE WENT TO
PRESCHOOL. I WAS IN MY CAREER AT THE TIME,
I WAS VERY INVOLVED IN THE EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
INITIATIVE MOVE THROUGH THE LEGISLATURE.
I KNEW HOW IMPORTANT EARLY CHILD EDUCATION WAS.
THOUGHT NO MATTER WHAT, FIRST KEEP THE ROOF OVER OUR HEAD.
SHE GOES TO SCHOOL, EATS, ALL OF THOSE SORT OF BASIC
NECESSITIES. BUT I KNOW THERE ARE SO MANY
MORE PEOPLE OUT THERE THAT DON’T HAVE THAT BENEFIT.
WHETHER IT’S BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T HAVE THAT MODELING OR
THEY DON’T HAVE THE RESOURCES THAT I HAVE BECAUSE AGAIN, I
REALIZED I’M ON THIS OTHER SIDE OF THE ALICE SPECTRUM.
BUT IT HAS KIND OF –>>Yunji: THE NEED FOR CHILD
CARE OBVIOUSLY IS SO GREAT. WE DON’T HAVE PUBLIC
PRESCHOOL IN HAWAI’I. MAKING A BIG IMPACT ON
FAMILIES.>>I THINK WHAT I WANT TO DO
SAY, ALICE REPORT IS GREAT AND JUST CAME OUT, BUT IT’S USING
DATA FROM 2015 AND 2016. WHEN I LOOKED AT THE NUMBERS,
I SAID, OH, MY GOSH, THOSE NUMBERS HAVE GONE UP.
IN TERMS OF COST OF CHILD CARE.
AND THE COST OF HOUSING. IN TWO YEARS.
JUST GONE UP SO MUCH. AND WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE
INCREASES IN WAGES, IT HASN’T GONE UP AS MUCH PERCENTAGE
WISE. SO WE’RE FOLLOWING, FURTHER
BEHIND. WHEN YOU REALLY THINK ABOUT
IT. I THINK YOU KNOW, PEOPLE NEED
TO KNOW THAT THIS IS A CRISIS. AND THAT WE REALLY DO NEED TO
GIVE VERY, VERY INTENTIONAL EFFORTS AND INTENTIONAL
ATTENTION TO JUST REALLY DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
I GO BACK TO HOUSING. WE GOT TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT
THIS HOUSING CRISIS THAT WE HAVE.
>>Yunji: AT THE START OF THIS, YOU TALKED ABOUT HOW THESE ARE
THE PEOPLE ALL AROUND US AN JUST TO EXEMPLIFY THAT I
WANTED TO SEE IF WE COULD PULL UP ANOTHER GRAPH HERE.
THAT WOULD BE 4A IN OUR PACKET.
OCCUPATIONS BY EMPLOYMENT AND WAGE IN HAWAI’I.
WE ARE TALKING ABOUT RETAIL SALESPEOPLE.
AND WAITERS AND WAITRESSES, CASHIERS, TELL US ABOUT THE
KIND OF MONEY THAT THESE FOLKS ARE PULLING IN.
>>PERSONALLY FEEL THIS IS PROBABLY THE MOST SCARY CHART
OUT OF THE WHOLE REPORT. IF YOU LOOK AT THIS GRAPH, OR
THIS CHART, TOP 7 OCCUPATIONS, IF YOU HAD BOTH
MEMBERS OF TWO PARENT HOUSEHOLD, WORKING, THAT
HOUSEHOLD REQUIRES $36 AN HOUR TOTAL TO SURVIVE.
AND IF YOU TAKE TWO FOLKS OUT OF THE TOP 7 OCCUPATIONS, ADD
THEIR SALARIES TOGETHER, YOU DON’T GET TO $36 AN HOUR.
WHAT THAT MEANS IS THAT’S WHY FOLKS HAVE TO HAVE SECOND
JOBS. THAT’S WHY THOUGH HAVE TO BE
WORKING EVENING. THEY HAVE TO WORK LONG HOURS
LIKE WAS MENTIONED EARLIER. REAL PROBLEM IS FUTURE ONE.
IF YOU LOOK AT THIS CHART, AND YOU THINK ABOUT THINGS LIKE
MCDONALD’S ANNOUNCED THEY’RE GOING TO HAVE STORES NOW WITH
NOBODY TO TAKE YOUR ORDERS. ALL GOING TO BE DONE
ELECTRONICALLY. OR ALMOST EVERY SUPERMARKET
ON THIS ISLAND RIGHT NOW HAS A SELF-CHECKOUT.
EVENTUALLY, THESE JOBS ARE THE ONES THAT ARE GOING TO BE
AUTOMATED AWAY. SO WE’RE GOING TO FACE A REAL
CHALLENGE FOR THE NEXT TEN OR 15 YEARS RESKILLING THESE
OVER 100,000 PEOPLE IN OUR WORKFORCE RIGHT NOW.
RESKILLING THEM JUST TO BE ABLE TO KEEP THEM IN THE
WORKFORCE.>>Yunji: ADD TO GO THAT, THIS
CAUSED BY LOW WAGE, HIGH RENT ECONOMY.
NOT BY QUOTE, UNQUOTE, LAZY POOR PEOPLE RELYING ON
HANDOUTS. SAME ECONOMIC CRUNCH DRIVES
MUCH OF THE HOMELESS THAT MANY FULL-TIME WORKERS SUFFER IN
HAWAI’I. CONNIE, A LOT OF THE FOLKS
THAT ARE GETTING SERVICES FROM IHS ARE IN FACT WORKING
HOMELESS.>>YES.
THAT IS CORRECT. WHEN WE OPENED H ALIMALEO LA,
SAND ISLAND FACILITY, DISCOVERED A LOT PEOPLE
LIVING IN THEIR CARS HOMELESS WORKING.
A LOT OF TIMES, IT’S REALLY ABOUT GETTING THAT DEPOSIT
FOR RENT THAT THEY DON’T HAVE TO GET BACK INTO HOUSING.
SO THERE’S A LOT OF DIFFERENT SITUATIONS.
WHERE WE ARE DISCOVERING HOMELESSNESS AS THIS WHOLE
SPECTRUM AS WELL. CERTAINLY, THERE ARE A LOT OF
MORE PEOPLE THAT PEOPLE NEVER SEE AND THEY NEVER NOTICE OUR
HOMELESS BECAUSE THEY’RE HIDDEN BUT THEY’RE WORKING
AND HOMELESS.>>Yunji: A LARGE PERCENTAGE
OF THOSE ARE CHILDREN.>>YES.
ABSOLUTELY.>>Yunji: NORM, HOW DO WE STACK
UP AGAINST OTHER STATES?>>ACTUALLY, HAWAI’I’S
COMBINED FEDERAL POVERTY LEVEL AND ALICE IS 48%.
THAT IS BY FAR THE WORST IN THE COUNTRY.
THE CLOSEST TO US IS NEW YORK AT 44%.
ADDING THOSE TWO GROUPS TOGETHER.
SO IT’S ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE THINGS THAT YOU DON’T WANT TO
BE A LEADER BUT WE CERTAINLY ARE.
>>Yunji: AIEA, SEEMS LIKE A VICIOUS CYCLE TO SUBSIDIZE
WHO CAN’T PAY SERVICE PROVIDERS.
RAISING RATES. THOSE WHO CAN’T AFFORD TO PAY
LEAVE HAWAI’I OR JOIN THOSE NEEDING TO BE SUBSIDIZED EMS
THE ELDERLY. HOW DO WE GROW THE POT?
>>FOR ALL OF YOU.>>NORM, WHERE DO WE GET THIS?
>>WELL, WE CERTAINLY HAVE TO CHANGE THE SKILL REQUIREMENTS
FOR OUR JOBS. RIGHT NOW, 67% OF THE JOBS IN
HAWAI’I REQUIRE A HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATION OR LESS.
WE HAVE TO HAVE MORE HIGH TECH JOBS.
JOBS THAT REQUIRE MORE EDUCATION.
AND IT’S A CHICKEN AND THE EGG THING.
DO YOU HAVE THE JOBS AND THEN YOU GET THE PEOPLE OR DO YOU
BRING THE PEOPLE IN AND HOPEFULLY, YOU GROW THE JOB.
I THINK THAT’S WHERE WE’RE AT RIGHT NOW.
WE’RE STARTING, PERFECT EXAMPLE, WANT TO GO AND LEARN
COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY. THAT’S WHAT WE NEED.
NOW WE NEED TO MAKE SURE WHEN HE COMES OUT, THERE’S A JOB.
OTHER THING I THINK, WHEN HE NEED TO SET PROGRAMS UP WHERE
WE KNOW THERE’S WORKFORCE REQUIREMENTS.
THIS IS A STUDY ABOUT A YEAR AGO THAT SAID, WE NEED 150,000
PILOTS IN THE AIRLINE INDUSTRY OVER THE NEXT TEN
YEARS. SO WHY NOT SET UP A PLACE ON
THIS ISLAND WHERE WE TRAIN PILOTS KNOWING THAT THERE’S
150,000 JOBS WAITING FOR THEM? THERE ARE MANY, MANY
JOBS LIKE THAT. WELDERS, ELECTRICIANS,
PLUMBERS. SO IN THOSE JOBS, ALL MAKE
WELL ABOVE ALICE SURVIVAL LEVEL.
THAT’S WHAT WE NEED TO START, WE NEED TO START QUEUING OUR
EDUCATION SYSTEM BASED ON THE DEMANDS OF THE WORKFORCE.
>>Yunji: THAT’S A POSITIVE THING HAPPENING.
. I SERVE ON THE HAWAI’I WORK
FORCE DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL. AND THE WORKFORCE INVESTMENT
OPPORTUNITY ACT. THAT WAS PASSED ACTUALLY
ENCOURAGED REAL REVOLUTION IN THE WAY THAT ASSISTANCE FOR
EMPLOYMENT WAS BEING GIVEN. BECAUSE BEFORE, YOU TALK TO
THE PERSON, WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO? BUT NO, YOU DON’T WANT
TO TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT TO DO.
YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT WHAT THERE ARE JOBS FOR.
SO I THINK THERE’S MUCH, MUCH MORE INTENTIONAL EFFORT TO
ENGAGE OUR EMPLOYERS. THE BUSINESSES AND LIKE NORM
SAYS, WHAT DO YOU NEED? TRAIN PEOPLE TO ACTUALLY GO
INTO THOSE PARTICULAR POSITIONS.
>>Yunji: WE HAVE A CALLER WRITING IN.
REASON MILLENIALS REFER TO MINIMALISM, TINY HOME ASSETS,
BROUGHT UP WITH THE RECESSION WITH EXTENSION THREAT OF
CLIMATE CHANGE. WE NEED GOVERNMENT REGULATION
TO KEEP CAPITALISM IN CHECK AND AVOID ISLAND OF
MILLIONAIRE CONDOS. WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON THIS?
WHEN YOU ARE ABOUT TO ENTER IT THE WORKFORCE, WHAT IS THE
ASPIRATION? IS IT MULTIMILLION DOLLAR CONDO OR
SOMETHING ELSE?. FOR ME, IT’S JUST TO HAVE A
HAPPY FAMILY BECAUSE GROWING UP, SEEING MY PARENTS, WORK
HARD, IT’S THAT, YOU KNOW, SEE MY PARENTS COME HOME,
STRESSED OUT AND I HEAR OTHER PEERS SAYING HOW THEY TAKE
TIME, SPEND TIME, LIKE A LOT OF TIME IN THE WEEK.
AND FOR ME, COMING OUT TO WORKFORCE, I WANT, I’M NOT
ASPIRING TO BE LIKE A MILLIONAIRE OR TO OWN 2 OR 3
HOUSES EVERYWHERE. I’M FINE WITH THE HOME.
WITH MY FAMILY LIVING HAPPILY WITHOUT HAVING TO STRESS
EVERY DAY LIKE MY PARENTS DOES.
WE ALL KNOW THAT ADULTS LIKE THE ONE THING THAT WE ALL MOST
IMPORTANT WAS, WAS KIDS. MY PARENTS, WHOLE REASON WHY
MY PARENTS CAME TO HAWAI’I IS FOR ME AND MY LITTLE SISTER.
SO MY GOAL AND MY BIGGEST DREAM IS TO JUST BE ABLE TO
SUPPORT A FAMILY, NOT IN A WAY LIKE MY PARENTS, BUT SUPPORT
A FAMILY WHERE WE COULD LIVE EVERY DAY, HAPPILY, WITHOUT
HAVING TO WORRY P FINANCIAL PROBLEMS.
HAVE SOME TIME TOGETHER.>>DEFINITELY.
REALLY INTERESTING. WE DID SOME FOCUS GROUPS
AROUND ALICE STUDY WHEN IT CAME OUT.
WE HAD A GROUP OF ALICE FAMILIES COME IN.
AND THEY BASICALLY SAID THE SAME THING.
MOST OF THEM SAID THEY’RE QUITE HAPPY WITH WHERE
THEY’RE AT. MUCH LIKE YOU.
BUT THEY WANT MORE TIME WITH THEIR FAMILY.
AND WE ASKED SPECIFICALLY THE QUESTION, ARE YOU WILLING TO
GIVE UP FAMILY TIME FOR INCREASED EDUCATION? OR
INCREASING YOUR SKILL SETS FOR WORK? AND THEY ALL SAID
NO. THEY SAID, THE MOST IMPORTANT
THING TO THEM IS FAMILY TIME. TOTALLY WHAT JUST SAID.
>>Yunji: I SEE YOU NODDING. I WOULD IMAGINE THAT’S THE
CASE IN YOUR FAMILY AS WELL.>>ABSOLUTELY OF THE YEAH.
SOMEONE OFFERED TO PICK UP MY DAUGHTER TONIGHT FROM THE
SHOW. I SAID NO.
I WILL SEE HER AT 9:00.>>EVEN TO MINUTES IN THE CAR
ON THE WAY HOME, YOU WANT TO SEE HER.
>>THIS QUESTION COMES FROM THE AUDIENCE TO YOU.
HOW DOES THIS AFFECT LOCAL FOLKS PSYCHOLOGICALLY?
>>WELL, MY HEART IS TORN HONESTLY WITH LISTENING TO A
LOT OF WHAT NORM IS SAYING. LISTENING TO THE QUESTION
BEFORE THAT ONE YOU JUST ASKED.
BECAUSE YOU KNOW, I’VE ACTUALLY COME TO A PLACE, BORN
AND RAISED HERE. OPEN LIVED IN HAWAI’I MY WHOLE
LIFE. NEVER LIVED ANYWHERE ELSE.
PART HAWAIIAN. BUT I’VE KIND OF COME TO A
PLACE IN THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS WHERE I’VE ACCEPTED
THAT I MIGHT NOT STAY HERE FOREVER.
MY DAUGHTER MIGHT NOT MAKE HAWAI’I HER HOME.
THAT’S OKAY. FOR THAT, IT WOULD HAVE NEVER,
I WOULD HAVE NEVER CONSIDERED IT.
I MADE PRETTY BIG DECISIONS BASED ON THINKING I WILL BE
HERE FOREVER. BUT YOU KNOW, WORKING IN THE
ENVIRONMENT I WORKED IN, SEEING WHAT I’VE SEEN, SEEING
WHAT HASN’T HAPPENED YET, I KIND OF HAVE COME TO TERMS
WITH IT’S NOT THE HAWAI’I I GREW UP IN.
NOT TO SAY IT’S BETTER OR WORSE.
IT’S JUST DIFFERENT. AND AS IT HAS CHANGED, WITH
DIFFERENT KINDS OF DEVELOPMENTS, WITH DIFFERENT
KINDS OF JOB ECONOMICS AND PLAY AND WHERE WE’RE PUTTING
OUR MONEY IN TERMS OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT AND
WHERE WE’RE NOT, WHAT THE EDUCATION SYSTEM LOOKS LIKES,
WHAT THE OPPORTUNITIES ARE LIKE, ESPECIALLY BECAUSE I
HAVE A CHILD, I’M THINKING MAYBE I WON’T BE HERE FOREVER.
PSYCHOLOGICALLY FOR ME, I MEAN, DAY-TO-DAY, WEEK TO
WEEK, I MIGHT STRESS OUT ABOUT FINANCES, SURE.
IN THE BIGGER PICTURE, I’VE HAD REALLY SHIFT MY SENSE OF
IS HAWAI’I MY FOREVER HOME? WILL I HAVE TO FIND SOMEWHERE
ELSE THAT I CAN HAVE A BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE AND NOT
EXPERIENCE THE SAME MAYBE FINANCIAL HARDSHIPS AND
CHALLENGES. ACTUALLY GET AHEAD.
>>THAT MAKES ME REALLY SAD. WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT THE
TALENT THAT SHE HAS AND WE’VE LOST A LOT OF TALENT TO THE
CONTINENTAL U.S. BECAUSE PEOPLE DON’T WANT TO MAKE THE
SACRIFICES THAT THEY HAVE TO MAKE TO STAY HERE.
AND SO I THINK WE’RE GOING TO SEE A LOT OF THAT IF WE DON’T
TURN THE TIDE AND ACTUALLY PROVIDE A LIVABLE KIND OF LIFE
HERE THAT PEOPLE CAN AFFORD.>>Yunji: YOU’RE TAKING THESE
NUMBERS TO THE LEGISLATURE. WHAT ARE YOU ASKING FOR?
WHAT COULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE SO A WOMAN LIKE NANI DOES STAY
IN HAWAI’I?>>WE BELIEVE THE HOMELESS
PROGRAMS THAT THE GOVERNMENT FUNDING RIGHT NOW ARE ALL WELL
INTENTIONED. WELL DIRECTED AND ARE
ACHIEVING A LOT OF GOOD AT THE POVERTY LEVEL AND BELOW FOR
THOSE FOLKS. WHAT WE THINK IS MISSING IS A
PREVENTIVE KIND OF PIECE THAT IF NANI WERE TO HAVE THE
ACCIDENT OR FOR WHATEVER REASON, LOSE INCOME FOR A
MONTH OR TWO, WOULD THAT EVENTUALLY FORCE HER INTO
HOMELESS. WOULD IT FORCE HER TO MOVE
BACK TO THE MAINLAND? WE BELIEVE THAT THERE OUGHT TO BE
PREVENTATIVE PROGRAMS IN PLACE THAT WOULD ALLOW
SOMEONE, STRUGGLING DAY-TO-DAY, IN GETTING BY,
ALL OF A SUDDEN, HAS FINANCIAL EMERGENCY.
TO TURN TO SOMEONE FOR HELP. AND SO ABOUT TWO YEARS AGO,
THE STATE ASKED US TO MANAGE A PROGRAM THAT PROVIDED THAT
KIND OF ASSISTANCE TO FOLKS THAT WERE ABOUT TO BE EVICTED.
AND IN THE COURSE OF ABOUT 18 MONTHS, WE PREVENTED EVICTION
FOR 1610 FAMILY WHICH ABOUT 4800, 4890 INDIVIDUALS.
THE THING THAT WAS REALLY INTERESTING ABOUT IT WAS WE
NEVER GOT CLOSE TO THE MAXIMUM ALLOWED ASSISTANCE TO MOST OF
THE FAMILIES. BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T WANT A LOT
OF ASSISTANCE. THEY JUST NEEDED 800 OR A
THOUSAND DOLLARS TO GET BY THAT ONE MONTH’S RENT THAT
THEY WERE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO COVER.
THAT’S WHY WE WERE ABLE TO CONSIDER THAT NUMBER OF
PEOPLE WITH THE DOLLARS THAT WE HAD.
THE AVERAGE USE WAS SO LOW. PEOPLE JUST WANTED HELP ME
THROUGH THIS EMERGENCY. AND I’M GOING TO BE FINE
AFTERWARD. THAT’S WHAT WE HAVE A REQUEST
INTO THE LEGISLATURE RIGHT NOW TO REMACE THAT PROGRAM TO
BASICALLY REFUND IT SO THAT WE CAN DO IT SOME MORE.
>>Yunji: 800 TO A THOUSAND DOLLARS, IT IS A LOT OF MONEY.
BUT IF SOMEONE IS HOMELESS, HOW FAR DOES 800 OR A THOUSAND
GO.>>NOT A LOT.
REALLY, WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT, ONE OF THE MOST ECONOMIC
PROGRAMS THAT YOU COULD HAVE TO JUST PREVENT HOMELESSNESS
AND NOT, WHEN YOU COMPARE IT TO SOMEBODY GOES INTO SHELTER
AFTER A WHILE, HAS TO MAKE THEIR WAY OUT BY HAVING
ANOTHER DEPOSIT BY HAVING TO HAVE MORE SUPPORTIVE
SERVICES, THAT COME ABOUT, BECAUSE YOU KNOW, LIVING ON
THE STREET, AFTER A WHILE, YOU CERTAINLY MIGHT GET A
ASSAULTED. ALL KINDS OF THINGS THAT COULD
HAPPEN THAT ADD TO THE COST OF HELPING SOMEONE OUT OF
HOMELESSNESS AFTER THEY’VE BEEN IN HOMELESSNESS FOR A
WHILE.>>Yunji: SYLVIA WRITES IN,
ALL OF THIS TALK ABOUT COST OF RENT.
HOW ABOUT TALKING ABOUT LOW WAGES? LET’S BRING UP
GRAPHIC NUMBER 5. THESE NUMBERS ARE PRETTY
STUNNING. NORM, WONDERED IF YOU COULD
TALK ABOUT THEM TONIGHT. LOOKING AT THE AVERAGE
HOUSEHOLD STABILITY BUDGET VERSUS THE HOSPITAL SERVICE
BUDGET IN HAWAI’I. WHAT WE NEED VERSUS WHAT A LOT
OF PEOPLE ARE LIVING ON. .
EXACTLY. THE SURVIVAL COLUMN IS WHAT
WE’RE USING AS THE BASIC ALICE THRESHOLD.
THAT’S WHAT A FAMILY OF FOUR NEEDS IN ORDER JUST TO BE
FINANCIALLY STABLE. YOU CAN SEE, TOTAL $72,000 A
YEAR FOR A FAMILY OF FOUR. THAT DOESN’T ALLOW THEM TO
SAVE. IT DOESN’T ALLOW THEM TO TAKE
VACATIONS. DOESN’T ALLOW THEM TO DO
ANYTHING OTHER THAN JUST LIVE MONTH-TO-MONTH.
THE STABILITY LEVEL INCOME IS MEANT TO PROVIDE THOSE
EXTRAS. ENABLING SOMEONE TO PAY FOR
THEIR DAUGHTER OR THEIR SON’S COLLEGE, FOR INSTANCE.
OR SAVE A LITTLE BIT OF MONEY SO THEY’VE GOT THAT, A
FINANCIAL PAD. THEY ENCOUNTER THOSE
EMERGENCIES.>>Yunji: I MEAN, YOU LOOK AT
THOSE NUMBERS. AND THE HOURLY WAGE NEEDED FOR
JUST IN A SURVIVAL MODE, $36 AN HOUR, IT SOUNDS LIKE QUITE
A BIT. IT IS.
IF IT’S A SINGLE EARNER, $36 AN HOUR JOBS ARE NOT VERY
PLENTIFUL IN THIS COMMUNITY. IE, WE WIND UP WITH FOLKS LIKE
MINE THAT ARE STRUGGLING BECAUSE THEY’RE SINGLE
PARENTS. WHEREAS FAMILY OF FOUR,
$72,000, HOW MANY JOBS ARE THERE OUT THERE FOR THAT THAT
PROVIDE THAT, AND IF YOU HAVE TO EARN $36 AN HOUR WITH THE
TWO MEMBERS, TWO ADULTS IN THE FAMILY WORKING, TWO MINIMUM
WAGE JOBS DON’T EQUAL 36ED AN HOUR.
>>Yunji: CALLER SAYS SHE LIVES THERE AND SEES MANY
HOMES BEING CONVERTED TO VACATION RENTALS AND TAKING
HOUSING OUT OF THE AVAILABLE POOL.
DOES THE PANEL HAVE ANY COMMENT ON THIS? I WONDER AS
A RENTER, HOW TOUGH IS IT TO GET A HOME RIGHT NOW?
>>HARD. BUT ALSO, YOU KNOW, THERE’S
TWO THINGS. PERSONAL CHOICE.
I ENJOY MY PERSONAL CHOICE TO LIVE WHERE I WANT.
AND I CHOOSE TO LIVE IN A NEIGHBORHOOD THAT WORKS FOR
ME AND MY CHILD. THAT’S VERY IMPORTANT TO ME.
MY MONTHLY RENT, WE SPOKE ABOUT THIS A BIT MORE, THE
CHART YOU JUST SHOWED, HOUSING TWO BEDROOM, $1,362 A
MONTH. I’VE ALREADY SAID, THAT’S
REALLY LOW. THE FIGURES ARE FROM 2015.
MY RENT IS $2,500 A MONTH. THAT’S MORE REALISTIC.
EVEN THAT $72,000 A YEAR FIGURE THAT YOU GET, IT’S
HIGHER THAN THAT NOW. SO KEEPING THAT IN MIND, SO I
THINK, AS HUMAN BEINGS, WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE WHERE
WE WANT TO LIVE. I ALSO THINK IF YOU ARE A
HOMEOWNER YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO DO WHAT YOU WANT WITH THE
HOME. IF YOU WANT TO SELL IT,
VACATION RENTAL, PRIVATE SECTOR, RENTER, UP TO YOU.
YOU EARNED THE RIGHT TO DO THAT BY BEING ABLE TO PURCHASE
IT.>>Yunji: THINKING ABOUT THE
NUMBERS, $2,500 A MONTH. IDEALLY FOLKS SPEND,
PROJECTION IS ABOUT 30% OF THEIR INCOME ON RENT.
IN HAWAI’I, I THINK THAT RATIO IS WAY OUT OF WHACK.
WOULD YOU AGREE?>>DEFINITELY.
I WANT TO GO BACK TO THE VACATION RENTAL.
I WOULD AGREE THAT IF YOU’RE ACTUALLY DOING A BED &
BREAKFAST AND WANT TO DO SOMETHING WITH YOUR OWN HOME,
THAT IS UP TO YOU. BUT VERY FEW, IN THE LARGER
SCHEME OF THINGS, ARE ACTUALLY WHERE YOU’RE RENTING
A ROOM FOR THE VACATION RENTAL.
A LOT OF TIMES IT’S THE WHOLE HOUSE.
SO THERE’S A LOT OF HOUSING THAT IS BEING USED FOR
VACATION RENTALS THESE DAYS. THAT REALLY DOES DIMINISH THE
NUMBER OF HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES FOR PEOPLE.
LOCALLY.>>Yunji: YOU DID BRING UP A
GOOD POINT. 2015 NUMBERS.
THINGS HAVE CHANGED QUITE A BIT.
YOU SEE RENT INCREASE.>>YES.
OTHER PART OF THE RENT IS THIS IS ACROSS THE STATE.
SO THESE ARE, THIS IS AVERAGE RENT ACROSS ALL ISLANDS.
OAHU IS BY FAR THE HIGHEST. WHEN WE DO HAVE IT BY COUNTY
BREAKOUTS, OAHU IS 1800 PLUS. AT THIS TIME.
THE LOW WAS BIG ISLAND WHICH IS ABOUT $1,100.
THE AVERAGE IS 1362. BUT IT’S CERTAINLY MUCH
HIGHER HERE.>>Yunji: YOU DID DO A SNAPSHOT
OF ALL THE COUNTIES YOU WANT TO BRING UP THAT GRAPHIC IF WE
COULD. LOOKING AT THE 2015 POINT IN
TIME DATA THERE, TELL US WHAT WE SEE HERE.
>>48% IS ALL OF HAWAI’I AVERAGE.
BUT OBVIOUSLY, IT IS DIFFERENT BY COUNTY.
OUR FRIENDS OVER ON KAUAI ENJOY THE LOWEST PERCENTAGE
OF HOUSE POPULATION AT 43%. FRIENDS ON THE BIG ISLAND ARE
AT 55%. AND THE OTHER INTERESTING
PART ABOUT THE STUDY IS THAT IT ACTUALLY GOES INTO
COMMUNITIES AND CITY LEVEL DATA.
AND SO WE DON’T HAVE TO JUST TAKE THE BIG ISLAND.
IN POINT OF FACT, KA’U AND I THINK IT’S PAHOA ARE THE TWO
HIGHEST ALICE POPULATIONS COMMUNITIES IN THE WHOLE
STATE. WITH THREE OUT OF EVERY FOUR
HOUSEHOLDS BEING ALICE. SO WE CAN NOW PINPOINT WHERE
THE REAL PROBLEM AREAS ARE. WHERE THE REAL WORK NEEDS TO
BE DONE.>>Yunji: WE’RE TALKING ABOUT
SORT OF OF A LOT OF BIRD’S EYE LEVEL STUFF HERE, HOUSING
POLICY AND WHAT SHOULD BE DONE.
WONDER AS SOMEONE WHO IS LIVING WHAT WE’RE TALKING
ABOUT, WHAT HAS MADE THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE FOR YOUR
FAMILY IN TERMS OF SECURITY?>>HAVING DIFFERENT FAMILY
MEMBERS, IN HAWAI’I, DEFINITELY HELPS.
WE CAN ALWAYS LOOK TO THEM IF THEY SOMETHING BIG HAPPENS,
FOR EXAMPLE, MY DAD HAD HIS MOTORCYCLE STOLEN COUPLE
MONTHS BACK. HE HAD TO TAKE MONEY OUT OF HIS
BANK ACCOUNT TO PURCHASE A CAR.
BUT HE DIDN’T HAVE ENOUGH. JUST NOT ENOUGH.
SO WE LOOKED TOWARDS LIKE FAMILY MEMBERS ASKING IF WE
COULD, BORROW SOME MONEY FROM THEM.
TO BE ABLE TO GET MY DAD TRANSPORTATION LIKE A VEHICLE
SO HE CAN GET TO WORK. AND WHEN LIKE FAMILY IS A BIG
THING, IN HAWAI’I, IT’S WHAT WE LOOKED LIKE WHAT MY FAMILY
TURNED TO. WHEN THINGS GO SOUTH.
THAT SAFETY NET BY COMMUNITY, IF SOMEONE IS IT NOT LUCKY
ENOUGH TO HAVE FAMILY MEMBERS AROUND, HOW DO WE ALL BECOME
THAT SAFETY NET?>>I WONDER IF YOU WANT TO
TOUCH ON THAT.>>IT’S INTERESTING.
BECAUSE THAT IS PROBABLY THE NUMBER ONE REASON WHY PEOPLE
BECOME HOMELESS BECAUSE THERE IS NO FAMILY TO TURN IT.
I THINK THOSE OF US WHO HAVE FAMILY HERE, THERE IS AT LEAST
THAT PART OF THE SAFETY NET AVAILABLE.
BUT I THINK WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT IS HOW DO WE
BECOME OHANA WHEN WE’RE NOT BLOOD? AND I THINK THAT
MAYBE WE USE TO HAVE IT A LOT MORE BEFORE.
BUT I THINK THAT THERE STILL REMAINS A LOT OF THAT HERE NOW
IN ALOHA SPIRIT. BUT I THINK THAT BECAUSE WE
HAVE SCARCE RESOURCES AND PEOPLE ARE GOING TO START
FEELING LIKE THERE’S SCARCITY OF THINGS TO SHARE, LESS
WILLING TO DO THAT. FOR ME, IN MY LINE OF WORK, I
SHALL SEEN A LOT OF FAMILIES BREAK UP AND PEOPLE BECOME
HOMELESS BECAUSE MAYBE THEY WERE TAKING CARE OF THEIR
PARENTS. BUT THEN WHEN THE PARENTS
DIED, WHOLE FAMILY DECIDES, WITH NEED THE MONEY.
NEED TO SELL THE HOUSE. I’M SORRY, WE CAN’T STAY HERE
ANY MORE. THAT PERSON JUST DOESN’T HAVE
A PLACE TO LIVE ANY MORE.>>Yunji: WHEN WE DO LOOK AT
THESE ALICE NUMBERS, TALKING ABOUT BASICALLY HALF THE
POPULATION, SURELY, THERE IS IT A SCARCITY OF RESOURCES.
I WONDER, WHAT HAS MADE THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE FOR YOU?
FAMILY OR WHAT GIVES YOU THE MOST SECURITY?
>>DEFINITELY FAMILY. YEAH.
DEFINITELY.>>Yunji: WE WANT TO BRING IN
THE AUDIENCE, OF COURSE. 71 YEAR OLD CALLER WORRIED SHE
WILL BE HOMELESS SOON. CAN’T RETIRE.
WON’T BE ABLE TO AFFORD $102,500 A MONTH IN RENT.
DOESN’T QUALIFY FOR SECTION 8.
$1,250 A MONTH. WE TALK ABOUT THE SILVER
TSUNAMI IN HAWAI’I. HIGHEST PERCENTAGE OF ELDERLY
IN OUR STATE AND ONLY HEALTHY AND GETTING OLDER.
WHAT IS THAT FORECAST FOR THAT SECTOR?
>>WE’RE VERY, VERY WORRIED. A LOT, THAT PART OF THE
POPULATION. IF YOU THINK BACK MAYBE 15
YEARS AGO, THE ISSUE WAS METH AND DRUG PROBLEM.
FAST FORWARD, HERE WE ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF HOMELESS
PROBLEM. I BELIEVE THAT IF YOU FAST
FORWARD ANOTHER TEN OR 15 YEARS, GOING TO BE IN THE
MIDDLE OF SENIOR CRISIS. LITTLE SERVICES AVAILABLE FOR
THEM. MANY ARE ON FIXED INCOMES.
WE HAVE GOT A PILOT PROGRAM GOING ON RIGHT NOW THAT
ATTEMPTS TO, WE CALL IT AGING, AGING WELL OR SOMETHING LIKE
THAT. THE IDEA IS WE STARTED 55
RATHER THAN WAITING TILL 65. START THEM AT 55.
GET THEM INTO PROGRAMS THAT KEEP THEM INVOLVED IN THE
COMMUNITY. GET THEM, SOME HELP, HELP
ALONG THE WAY. IN THE LONG RUN, HOPING WE CAN
BUILD THESE PROGRAMS. IT IS A VERY, VERY DIFFICULT
ARGUMENT TO SAY WE HAVE TO WORK ON SOMETHING KNOW IS
GOING TO BE A PROBLEM. WE KNOW IT’S COMING.
IT’S NOT QUITE THAT BAD YET. WHEN YOU HAVE A HOMELESS
PROBLEM THAT’S RIGHT IN FRONT OF US NOW.
DIFFICULT TO TURN AWAY FROM SOMEBODY ON THE STREET.
EVEN IF YOU WANT TO HELP SOMEBODY THAT IS POTENTIALLY
THERE.>>I DARE SAY THAT THAT TIME
IS ALREADY HERE. BECAUSE I’M SEEING A LOT MORE
SENIORS THAT ARE BECOMING HOMELESS AS WELL.
AND IN THE LAST SIX YEARS OR SO, AT OUR MEN’S SHELTER, HAD
120% INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE THAT ARE OVER THE AGE
OF 62. AND ON THE OTHER HAND, I’M
THINKING THAT FOR SOLUTIONS, ONE OF THEM IS LIKE A SHALLOW
SUBSIDY PROGRAM FOR SENIORS. BECAUSE IF THEY’RE NOT ABLE TO
MAKE THEIR RENT BY MAYBE ABOUT $300 A MONTH OR SOMETHING,
THAT WOULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE. CERTAINLY, THAT KIND OF
PROGRAM WOULD MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE.
IT IS AN ONGOING PROGRAM. IT DOESN’T COST AS MUCH AS
SECTION 8 OR ANOTHER PROGRAM IN A WOULD COST A LOT MORE.
IT’S A SHALLOW SUBSIDY. BUT IT WOULD GO A LONG WAY TO
HELP SENIORS STAY IN PLACE.>>I THINK THE THING THAT’S
IMPORTANT ABOUT THAT IS THEY’RE IN A HOME NOW.
YOU PUT THEM OUT ON THE STREET.
THEN YOU GET THEM TO THE POINT WHERE THEY’RE READY.
NOW YOU HAVE TO FIND ANOTHER UNIT TO PUT THEM IN.
FAR BETTER, FAR MORE ECONOMIC FOR US TO HELP THEM NOW,
SHALLOW SUBSIDIES.>>I WANT TO SAY THAT THAT
SENIOR, MANY OF THEM ARE IN ALREADY LOW INCOME HOUSING.
BUT THAT’S GOING UP AND THEIR INCOME IS FIXED.
SOCIAL SECURITY IS FIXED. NOT GOING TO GET ANY MORE AS
QUICKLY AS THE RENTS ARE GOING UP.
>>TO THE CALLER, I WAS GOING TO SAY, I’M ASSUMING SHE’S IN
MARKET RATE. 1250 SOUNDS LIKE MARKET RATE.
THERE ARE SENIOR HOUSING PROJECTS THAT ARE AVAILABLE.
THAT SHE CAN LOOK INTO. OF COURSE, IF SHE WOULD BE
OPEN TO PUBLIC HOUSING, THERE ARE ALSO PUBLIC HOUSE UNITS
AND SHALLOW SUBSIDY INCOME. AS FAR AS HOUSING OPTIONS,
THERE ARE GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIZED HOUSING
DEVELOPMENTS BASICALLY, TARGETED FOR SENIORS.
AT THAT ARE INCOME BASED AND CAPS THE AMOUNT OF RENT THAT
YOU PAY. MIGHT BE HELPFUL FOR HER OR
PUBLIC HOUSING OPTION. IF SHE NEEDS MORE
INFORMATION, SHE CAN CALL. IHS.
I THINK YOU HAVE MY UNCOMFORTABLE.
CATHOLIC CHARITIES. GOOGLE ME.
I’LL HELP YOU.>>THAT’S THE PROBLEM WE HAVE
TOO. PERHAPS THE CALLER IS NOT
AWARE THAT ALL OF THAT ASSISTANCE IS POTENTIALLY
AVAILABLE TO THEM. THE NAVIGATING OF THAT SYSTEM
IS VERY, VERY DIFFICULT. SO THAT’S ANOTHER THING WE
NEED TO BE I THINK FOCUSING ON IS HELPING PEOPLE THAT NEED
HELP. FIND THE RIGHT PLACES.
>>I WANT TO BRING YOU BACK IN ON THIS.
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOUR FAMILY WAS ABLE TO GET THE HELP,
WITHOUT YOU OBVIOUSLY AS THE TRANSLATOR, THAT I PROBABLY A
LOT OF THE ASSISTANCE THAT YOU GET WOULDN’T BE THERE.
HOW EASY OR DIFFICULT HAS IT BEEN FOR YOUR FAMILY TO GET
THE RESOURCES THAT ARE OUT THERE AND AVAILABLE?
>>IT’S HARD. MY PARENTS DON’T KNOW WHERE TO
LOOK FOR THEM. AND ME, I’M STILL A MINOR AND
I HARDLY UNDERSTAND HOW EVERYTHING IS LOCATED.
I’M TRANSLATING FOR MY PARENTS.
HELPING THEM WRITE THEIR CHECKS AND STUFF, BUT ALL I
COULD REALLY DO IS STRESS OUT ABOUT THESE NUMBERS THAT MY
PARENTS HAVE AND I DON’T KNOW HOW TO, YOU KNOW, POINT THEM
IN THE DIRECTION SAYING, MAYBE TALK TO THIS PERSON FOR
HELP. AND WE’RE JUST GETTING BY.
>>Yunji: STAN FROM MAUI SAYS, WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO TO
ACQUIRE POLITICAL WILL IN ORDER TO ADDRESS AFFORDABLE
HOUSING IN OUR STATE? WITH THE CRISIS SITUATION? I
WONDER IF YOU WOULD TAKE THIS ON.
HOW DO WE INSPIRE POLITICAL WILL?
POLITICIANS SAY THEY WANT TO ADDRESS IN THESE ISSUES BUT
HOW DO WE GET THIS DONE. TENS OF THOUSANDS IF NOT
HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS, PEOPLE LIKE US, PEOPLE LIKE HIM, NEED
TO MAKE IT HAPPEN. IT’S THE HUMAN CAPITAL, IF YOU
WILL, WE’RE THE ONES WHO FORCE POLITICAL WILL.
AND WE WILL BE COMPETING WITH DOLLARS.
WE WILL BE COMPETING WITH PEOPLE WHO DONATE LARGE
MONEY. ABSOLUTELY.
BUT IF REALLY, WITH OUR VOICES, AND OUR WORDS, BY THE
THOUSANDS, WE HAVE TO DO IT. AND IT’S NOT JUST SPEAKING OFF
THE CUFF AND YOU HAVE TO FOE WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT.
SO IF YOU DON’T REALLY UNDERSTAND HOW HOUSING
DEVELOPMENT WORKS, HOW HOUSING DEVELOPMENT
FINANCED, WORKS, HOW AFFORDABLE HOUSING
DEVELOPMENT WORKS, BECAUSE THAT IS A SPECIAL ANIMAL, AND
HOW AFFORDABLE HOUSING FINANCING WORKS, EDUCATE
YOURSELF. AND ONCE YOU’VE GOTTEN THOSE
THINGS DOWN, AND YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR POSITION IS OR WHAT YOUR
THOUGHTS ARE, GET INVOLVED. THERE ARE A LOT OF
ORGANIZATIONS THAT ARE VERY INVOLVED IN AFFORDABLE
HOUSING. POLICY EFFORTS AND TRYING TO
AFFECT CHANGE THROUGH THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS.
AND THERE’S A LOT OF OPPORTUNITIES AND
ORGANIZATIONS THAT EVERY DAY PEOPLE CAN WORK WITH.
BUT I BELIEVE IT’S THOUSAND OF EVERY DAY PEOPLE THAT WILL GET
POLITICAL WILL TO HAPPEN.>>Yunji: WHERE DO WE GO FROM
HERE? I WANT TO BACK UP AND HAVE YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT
ABOUT THE STUDY WHO FUNDED IT, WHAT YOU PLAN DO WITH THESE
NUMBERS IN THE FUTURE.>>LET ME START WITH THAT.
VERY, VERY APPRECIATIVE OF BANK OF HAWAI’I.
CAME SCHOOLS, AND THE HAWAI’I COMMUNITY FOUNDATION.
EACH OF WHICH NOT ONLY FUNDED THIS YEAR’S STUDY BUT AGREED
TO FUND SUBSEQUENT STUDIES EVERY 2 YEARS.
SO WE CAN MONITOR THAT WE’RE MAKING SOME PROGRESS.
FOR ALL OF THOSE FOLKS, WE’RE VERY APPRECIATIVE.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE, LIKE I SAID EARLIER, ALOHA UNITED
WAY INTENDS TO REDIRECT AWFUL LOT OF ITS FUNDING AT THIS
POPULATION. I DO BELIEVE THE POLITICAL
THERE IS A PIECE OF THIS. POLITICAL WILL, I’M TALKING
ABOUT IS THE POLITICAL WILL TO UNDERSTAND THAT THERE A GROUP
OF PEOPLE IN OUR COMMUNITY THAT DON’T QUALIFY FOR
ASSISTANCE CURRENTLY AVAILABLE BUT REQUIRE JUST AS
MUCH ASSISTANCE AS THE FOLKS BELOW POVERTY LEVEL.
WE NEED TO BE ABLE TO STEP IN AND HELP SOMEBODY PREVENT
SOMETHING RATHER THAN WAITING UNTIL THEY BECOME HOMELESS.
AND THEN HAVE TO SOLVE THAT PROBLEM.
>>Yunji: WHAT DO YOU WISH PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT FAMILIES IN
THE CIRCUMSTANCE THAT YOU SHARED WITH US TO TONIGHT?
>>I WANT EVERYONE KNOW THAT FAMILIES ARE WORKING HARD.
PROVIDING FOR THE FAMILY. PROVIDING FOR THEIR KIDS.
AND AS HARD AS IT MIGHT SEEM SOMETIMES AND I SEE WHAT MY
PARENTS FACE. THEY COME HOME, STRESSED OUT,
AND I’M SURE THAT’S THE SAME FOR A LOT OF FAMILIES OUT
THERE. ALL I COULD REALLY SAY IS THAT
WORK AND ALL WE CAN REALLY DO IS KEEP WORKING AND GETTING BY
EVERY MONTH AND GET THAT ONE DAY LIKE THAT ONE GOLDEN DAY
OF THE MONTH, LIKE THE FAMILY TIME.
TO SPEND WITH THE FAMILY AND ENJOY BEING LIKE TOGETHER.
>>Yunji: I HAVE THE SAME QUESTION FOR YOU.
WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT PEOPLE IN
THIS ALICE DEMOGRAPHIC?>>WE EXIST.
>>Yunji: LET’S START WITH THAT.
WE’RE HERE. GOOD PLACE TO START.
50% OF THE POPULATION. I THINK ATTENTION SHOULD BE
PAID. YES.
>>Yunji: WE HAVE ABOUT A MINUTE LEFT.
I WANT TO LET YOU HAVE THE LAST WORD.
WHAT CAN WE DO TO MAKE SURE FOLKS WHO DON’T NEED THE HELP
OF AGENCY LIKE YOURS, HOW CAN WE LIFT THESE FOLKS UP.
>>COUPLE OF THINGS HAVE BEEN MENTIONED TONIGHT THAT I JUST
WANT TO REINFORCE. NORM MENTIONED THAT I THINK WE
NEED TO RESHAPE PUBLIC POLICY.
TO JUST REALLY REWARD PEOPLE FOR WORKING HARD.
I MEAN, WE TALKED ABOUT THIS EARLIER AND WE NEED TO LOOK AT
HOW WE CAN DO THAT IN A WAY THAT REALLY MAKES SENSE AND
DOESN’T CREATE CLIFFS FOR PEOPLE WHEN THEY DO TRY TO
MAKE MORE MONEY. I WITH REALLY WANT TO SEE THE
MODIFICATION OF REGULATIONS TO FAST TRACK DEVELOPMENT OF
AFFORDABLE HOUSING. YOU KNOW, GOVERNMENT CAN DO A
LOT AND YOU KNOW, WE REALLY EXPECT THEM TO DO A LOT MORE.
I THINK THAT THERE’S BEEN A NEGLECT OVER JUST SCORES OF
YEARS. WHERE PEOPLE HAVE NOT BEEN
PROBABLY PAYING ENOUGH ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT OUR
INVENTORY OF HOUSING HAS BEEN DIMINISHING EVERY SINGLE
YEAR. .
IF SOMEONE TONIGHT IS WATCHINGND KNEEL LIKE THEY
ARE ON THE EDGE OF NEEDING YOUR SERVICES HOW BEST CAN
THEY REACH OUT TO YOU?>>THEY CAN JUST CALL
447-2800. AND REACH OUT AND WE’LL DIRECT
THEM TO WHICHEVER PROGRAM IT IS THAT THEY WOULD NEED AT
THIS TIME. BUT I THINK REALLY, WE
ENCOURAGE EVERYBODY IN OUR COMMUNITY TO READ THE ALICE
REPORT. REALLY GET YOURSELF FAMILIAR
WITH IT. BECAUSE I THINK IT’S REALLY
IMPORTANT FOR EVERYONE TO KNOW ABOUT IT.
>>Yunji: WE HAVE THAT AVAILABLE TO YOU.
MAHALO TO ALL OF YOU FOR JOINING US RIGHT NOW.
WE ARE SHOWING YOU THE LINK TO THE ENTIRE ALICE REPORT.
FROM THE ALOHA UNITED WAY. SO THAT YOU CAN ACCESS IT ON
YOUR OWN FOR REVIEW. OF COURSE, WE WANT TO MAHALO
OUR GUESTS TONIGHT. CONNIE MITCHELL, EXECUTIVE
DIRECTOR OF THE INSTITUTE FOR HUMAN SERVICES.
NANI MEDEIROS, SHARED HER STORY AS A WORKING SINGLE MOM.
NORM BAKER, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER FOR ALOHA UNITED WAY.
AND ZI JUN, SHARED HIS FAMILY’S ALICE STORY WITH US.
NEXT WEEK ON INSIGHTS, HASHTAG ME TOO, IF THERE’S
REALLY BEEN A SEA CHANGE, NEW AWARENESS AND INTOLERANCE FOR
SEXUAL HARASSMENT OF ALL KIND, MILLENIALS WILL BE THE
GENERATION THAT MAKE IT STICK.
WE’LL HEAR FROM LOCAL MILLENIALS ON THEIR VIEWS OF
THIS NEW ERA OF ENLIGHTENMENT, RESPECTND
EQUALITY. NEXT WEEK RIGHT HERE I’M YUNJI
DE NIES FOR INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAI’I.
A HUI HO.

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