STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1218
RE: H.B. No. 713
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2019
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Human Services, to which was referred H.B. No. 713, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO HOMELESSNESS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to establish a three-year homeless employment grant program within the Department of Human Services that provides homeless individuals with work opportunities and connects them with service providers.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Governor's Coordinator on Homelessness; Hawaii State Judiciary; The Institute for Human Services, Inc.; Hawaii Youth Services Network; Hawaii Kai Homeless Task Force; Honolulu County Republican Party; and seven individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure for the Department of Human Services and State Procurement Office.
Your Committee finds that despite increased efforts and resources to reduce homelessness, homelessness still remains a significant issue in the State. Your Committee further finds that meaningful and sustainable employment is the key to creating and maintaining housing stability. Unemployment, underemployment, and low wages relative to rent are frequent causes of homelessness and burden millions of families with the risk of becoming homeless.
Your Committee recognizes that there is not enough housing subsidy to sustain housing for everyone who may need assistance. Alternatively, working with participants to gain meaningful and sustainable income through job training and apprenticeship programs is a way to assist homeless individuals in growing income and preventing returns to homelessness following housing placement. This measure establishes a homeless employment grant program, which will allow homeless individuals to gain valuable work experience, obtain longer-term, competitive employment, maintain housing stability, and progress to becoming self-sufficient and contributing to their community.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Clarifying that contracts between the Department of Human Services and a service provider or other qualified person or entity to administer the homeless employment grant program are exempt from section 103F, Hawaii Revised Statutes;
(2) Specifying that the period of performance for exempt contracts shall not exceed the three-year term of the homeless employment grant program;
(3) Specifying additional requirements for the homeless employment grant program, including conducting an assessment; assisting homeless individuals with funding assistance; coordinating with homeless outreach, shelter, and case management services; and conducting training for financial literary skills;
(4) Removing language that would have required the homeless employment grant program to connect homeless individuals with service providers at the appropriate time; and
(5) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Human Services that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 713, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 713, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Human Services,
RUSSELL E. RUDERMAN, Chair