Report Title:

Transitional Living Program; Appropriation


Appropriates funds to provide transitional living services for unserved street youth.


H.B. NO.









making an appropriation for transitional living services for unserved street youth.



SECTION 1. Transitional living services aid young people in moving from childhood to adult independent living. Most teenagers are not ready to live entirely on their own, and those who cannot count on support and guidance from family members need help from others in learning and practicing the skills required for success. "On their own" for these youth often means a dramatic realization that they are extremely unprepared to provide for themselves. In Hawaii, there are approximately 1,200 youth ages sixteen to twenty-one who could benefit from transitional living services. Currently available services are inadequate to meet this need.

Homeless youth in Hawaii are at high risk of victimization, including for sexual assault and exploitation. Youth who are on the street are often drawn into survival sex for food, a place to sleep, or drugs. Due to an economy based heavily on tourism and the military, Hawaii has a disproportionately high number of sex workers compared to other states. An estimated 1,500 to 5,000 people in Hawaii are engaged in prostitution, and up to 1,000 of them are minors. A national study of women prostitutes noted that ninety-two per cent want to leave prostitution, but are unable to because they lack shelter, jobs, health care, counseling, and treatment for addictions.

As a result of sexual exploitation, unsafe sex practices, and sexual assault, homeless and street youth have high rates of sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. One trend noted by homeless outreach staff is the increasing number of young women who have been or are pregnant. Ninety per cent of teenage girls who are sexually active and use no contraception will become pregnant before age twenty. In Hawaii, about 1,900 teenage girls become parents each year, eighty per cent of them unmarried. Many end up in poverty and reliant on welfare. Homeless teenage girls are at high risk of for low birth weight babies and high infant mortality because of lack of prenatal care and poor nutrition.

Data on Hawaii's runaway and homeless youth indicates that substance abuse is a serious problem. More than half have used hard liquor or marijuana/hashish. More than thirty per cent have used stimulants and twenty per cent have taken cocaine. Thirty-seven per cent have sold drugs.

Nearly two thirds of homeless young people do no reside in shelters. Among unsheltered homeless people, the most often mentioned needs include housing, dental care, transportation, employment assistance, job training, and money.

The purpose of this Act is to appropriate funds for a grant-in-aid to the Hawaii Youth Services Network for its Transitional Living Program to provide the following services to runaway and homeless youth up to age twenty-one:

(1) Stable, save living accommodations;

(2) Life skills training and focused counseling services;

(3) Individual and group education, counseling, and linkages for substance abuse;

(4) Assistance in obtaining employment, individualized educational/vocational tutoring, services, referrals, and financial counseling; and

(5) Support to enable pregnant and parenting teens to become more effective parents.

SECTION 2. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $200,000, or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2003-2004, and the sum of $200,000, or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2004-2005, for grants-in-aid to the Hawaii Youth Services Network for its Transitional Living Program for Unserved Street Youth.

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, 2003.