IMPACT

Homeless Children In Hawaii Share What It's Like To Live In A Shelter

"I don't like telling people where I live."

For homeless families, Hawaii is hardly paradise.

"I don't like telling people where I live," says 9-year-old Jaycee. 

Jaycee lives in an Institute for Human Services Shelter for women and their children in Honolulu. In the state of Hawaii, there are 800 homeless families struggling to get by. 

HuffPost Hawaii's partner site, Honolulu Civil Beat, recently asked some of Hawaii's homeless families about their experiences living in a shelter. 

Some of the children talk about living in the shelter just like you would expect young kids to describe their daily lives, with enthusiasm and innocent contentment.

They brush their teeth, go to school, do their homework and watch movies. They're normal children with normal routines, except that, for many of them, simply having matching flip flops is a luxury.

Civil Beat also interviewed two young students who live on the other end of the spectrum. The 12-year-olds attend one of Honolulu's most prestigious private schools, but a recent school project about the city's homelessness crisis gave them a new perspective. 

"I thought that homeless people were people on the streets looking through trash cans but in actuality it’s not always the case," Tori, one of the students says.

Listen to the full interviews in the podcast below:

Staff ready plates for dinner consisting of a beef patty, rice, bread, cake and a slice of pineapple at the Institute of Huma
Staff ready plates for dinner consisting of a beef patty, rice, bread, cake and a slice of pineapple at the Institute of Human Services.
Beds at the Institute of Human Services Sumner women's shelter.
Beds at the Institute of Human Services Sumner women's shelter.

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