Houseless & Mental Health Outreach


The Waikīkī Business Improvement District is at the forefront of addressing mental health and homelessness, recognizing the crucial impact of these issues on the community’s wellbeing. Central to our mission is the commitment to help individuals transition from the street into improved living situations and accessing necessary assistance. By investing in outreach, support programs, and partnerships, we aim to provide comprehensive solutions that not only address immediate needs but also pave the way for long-term recovery and integration, reflecting our dedication to a compassionate and thriving Waikīkī.

Partnership with the Institute for Human Services:

The Waikīkī Business Improvement District (WBID) and the Institute for Human Services (IHS) have formed a vital partnership, focusing on combating chronic homelessness and severe mental illness within the Waikīkī community.

IHS is Hawaiʻi’s comprehensive homeless service provider, offering a range of programs including emergency shelters, case management, and medical treatment. Renowned for its dedication to solving homelessness through innovative solutions, IHS aims to provide the necessary support and services to transition individuals and families into sustainable living situations.

This collaboration, funded by the Waikīkī Business Improvement District, is timely, and addresses the growing need for effective homeless outreach.

Key aspects of this partnership include:

Strengthened Outreach & Intervention

IHS’s expertise will augment WBID’s Aloha Ambassador and Homeless Outreach programs. With a primary focus on severely mentally ill individuals, the aim is to transition such individuals into behavioral health treatments and provide them with the necessary support.

Waikīkī Street Outreach Coordinator

Funded by the Waikīkī Business Improvement District, the coordinator will lead homeless street outreach efforts in Waikīkī, leveraging IHS’s extensive range of services and ensuring that Waikīkī’s homeless individuals are directly connected to these services.

Increased Access to Services

IHS will extend direct access to its comprehensive agement, housing navigation, medical treatment, behavioral health treatment, substance abuse detox, employment support, and more.

Collaborative Data Sharing & Training

Both IHS and WBID share data concerning outreach activities, ensuring more effective interventions.

Additionally, training will be provided to expand capacity for obtaining guardianship or Assisted Community Treatment (ACT) for those in dire need. Through our partnership with IHS and our Executive Coordinator of Safe & Sound Katie Kaahanui, the Waikīkī Business Improvement District is prioritizing ACT to help our most vulnerable in the district.

What is Assisted Community Treatment (ACT)?

Assisted Community Treatment (ACT) is a legal mechanism designed to provide comprehensive, community-based psychiatric treatment, supervision, and support to individuals with severe mental illness who are unable to live independently or who are in and out of hospitals and treatment centers. ACT is court-ordered, aimed at ensuring individuals adhere to their treatment plan while living in the community. This approach focuses on reducing hospitalizations and incarcerations, improving the individual’s quality of life, and involves a team of healthcare professionals providing round-the-clock services tailored to each person’s unique needs.

Aloha Ambassador Homeless Outreach:

At the heart of the Waikīkī Business Improvement District’s Aloha Ambassador Program is our dedicated Homeless Outreach Ambassador. This role is pivotal in coordinating with the Institute for Human Services, Honolulu PD, and various stakeholders, focusing on the needs of the mentally ill and homeless within Waikīkī. Prioritizing investment in this area is a testament to WBID’s commitment to compassion and community welfare, ensuring that the most vulnerable are connected with the necessary services and support to foster safety, health, and overall wellbeing in the district.

Bi-Annual Homeless Count with the University of Hawaiʻi

The Waikīkī Business Improvement District proudly partners bi-annually with Dr. Karl Kim and the University of Hawaiʻi’s School of Urban and Regional Planning for a comprehensive homeless point-in-time count. This critical initiative gathers data and insights into the homelessness situation, aiding in our understanding and shaping of effective strategies to address and alleviate the issue. This collaboration underscores our commitment to informed, data-driven approaches in making tangible improvements in our community.

From September 2022 to September 2023


Reduction in homelessness, going from 251 observed in Sept 2022 to 206 observed in September 2023.