Bill Text: HI SB526 | 2020 | Regular Session | Amended

Bill Title: Relating To Human Services.

Spectrum: Strong Partisan Bill (Democrat 11-1)

Status: (Engrossed) 2019-12-01 - Carried over to 2020 Regular Session. [SB526 Detail]

Download: Hawaii-2020-SB526-Amended.html


S.B. NO.



S.D. 2


H.D. 1














     SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that homelessness continues to be one of the State's most significant and challenging social problems.  According to the 2018 Hawaii statewide homeless point-in-time count conducted in January 2018, there are 6,530 homeless individuals in the State, an overall decrease of 9.6 per cent from 2017.  However, the costs of caring for this population have continued to grow.  Homeless persons face a wide range of issues, including general health issues, mental illness, and substance abuse.  These issues affecting homeless persons also impact the general population through the costs of social and health care services.  In 2016, homeless persons in the State made more than twenty thousand hospital visits.  In 2016, state hospitals billed $214,000,000 in charges for caring for the homeless, up drastically from $70,500,000 in 2010.  Treating these homeless individuals is sometimes uncompensated; one hospital alone estimates it incurs more than $10,000,000 in uncompensated costs annually.

     The legislature also finds that mobile outreach services are increasing in popularity across the nation as governments try to find ways to address the health care needs of the homeless population.  In places such as Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colorado; San Jose, California; and Seattle, Washington, mobile outreach services offer a variety of free health care services for local homeless populations, resulting in significant cost savings when compared to emergency room visits.  One estimate from 2016 found that each dollar spent on mobile outreach services saved twelve dollars in other costs.

     The purpose of this Act is to appropriate funds for purchasing, staffing, and operating two mobile outreach services to serve homeless people; provided that one of the mobile outreach services shall be allocated to the county of Hawaii.

     SECTION 2.  (a)  There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $         or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2019-2020 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2020-2021 to purchase, staff, and operate two mobile outreach services to serve homeless individuals; provided that:

     (1)  One mobile outreach service shall be allocated to the county of Hawaii;

     (2)  No funds appropriated pursuant to this section shall be made available unless the department of human services obtains matching funds on a dollar-for-dollar basis to the amount appropriated by the State;

     (3)  The staff may include one primary care provider, one nurse, one pharmacist, one psychiatrist, and other staff as needed, including a social worker, an outreach worker, and students pursuing degrees in medicine or nursing; and

     (4)  The mobile outreach services may provide, at minimum, the following services:

          (A)  Non-emergency medical services for chronic, acute, and episodic conditions;

          (B)  Testing for sexually transmitted disease, human immunodeficiency virus, and hepatitis;

          (C)  Family planning;

          (D)  Child and family services;

          (E)  Behavioral health and substance abuse services;

          (F)  Mental health services;

          (G)  Dental care;

          (H)  Referral services;

          (I)  Shower and laundry services;

          (J)  Clean clothing;

          (K)  Health insurance enrollment;

          (L)  Pharmacy services;

          (M)  Street medicine; provided that for the purposes of this subparagraph, "street medicine" means the practice of directly delivering health care and related services to persons found on the streets, in parks, along river banks, on beaches, and in abandoned buildings; and

          (N)  Other assistance services, including medical and housing placement;

provided further that the department of human services may procure the mobile outreach services pursuant to chapters 103D and 103F, Hawaii Revised Statutes.

     (b)  The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of human services for the purposes of this Act.

     SECTION 3.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2050.


Report Title:

DHS; Mobile Outreach Services; Homelessness; Appropriation



Appropriates funds for the Department of Human Services to purchase, staff, and operate two mobile outreach services to serve homeless persons; provided that one of the mobile outreach services shall be allocated to the county of Hawaii.  Requires matching funds.  (SB526 HD1)




The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.