TWENTY-NINTH LEGISLATURE, 2017
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO HOMELESS SHELTERS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. In an attempt to make the homeless shelter system more cost effective and more appealing to families and individuals, the legislature enacted Act 234, Session Laws of Hawaii 2016, and revised chapter 346, Hawaii Revised Statutes, by adding a new section to part XVII to establish minimum requirements for every homeless emergency shelter operated by a provider agency that is under contract with the department of human services. Act 234 amended definitions in section 346-361, Hawaii Revised Statutes, and amended section 346-371, Hawaii Revised Statutes, which requires provider agencies to conduct annual audits. Act 234 amended section 346-374, Hawaii Revised Statutes, directing the department of human services to pay homeless shelter stipends only for performance measures actually achieved by the provider agency, and requiring that the collection of shelter and service payments from homeless families or individuals be based on the families' and individuals' ability to pay.
The legislature finds that there is wide variation in the configuration of homeless emergency shelters across the State. In particular, there are distinct differences between emergency shelters located in rural areas as compared to shelters that are located in more densely populated urban communities. To ensure that the minimum health and safety standards adopted by the department of human services provide sufficient flexibility to address these diverse needs, the department needs additional time to meet with shelter providers and discuss the ability to bring shelter space into compliance with Act 234.
Additionally, there is concern that without flexibility in regard to the requirement for partitioned shelter spaces, if Act 234 is implemented as currently enacted, there may be significant reduction in shelter space among certain homeless shelters.
This Act is intended to provide the department of human services with the discretion to determine the emergency homeless shelters that may require partition space for homeless persons or families based upon guidelines determined by the department of human services. In addition, the measure will extend the effective date of Act 234, Session Laws of Hawaii 2016, by one year to provide additional time for the department to implement the Act.
SECTION 2. Act 234, Session Laws of Hawaii 2016, section 2, is amended by amending subsection (b) of the proposed new section 346- , Hawaii Revised Statutes, to read as follows:
"(b) The department shall require an emergency shelter to comply with the following:
(1) The shelter shall have the number of showers and
bathrooms that the department deems appropriate and sufficient for the number
of homeless families or individuals [
that] who use the shelter
and the capacity of the shelter. The showers and bathrooms may be part of the
shelter building or portable and unattached to the shelter building;
(2) The shelter [
shall] may have
partitioned space for each homeless family or individual that provides
separation from other homeless families or individuals in the
shelter. The minimum area of the partitioned space and height of the partition
shall be determined by the department and may differ among [ transitional]
emergency shelters, according to the number of homeless families or
individuals [ that] who use the shelter and the capacity of the
shelter. A shelter that provides separate rooms or portable dwelling units for
homeless families or individuals, including converted shipping containers or
school classrooms, shall be deemed to exceed this minimum requirement; and
(3) The shelter shall provide storage for the personal possessions of each homeless family or individual served by the shelter. The storage shall be securable by the homeless family or individual. The type and number of the storage equipment, space, or area shall be determined by the department."
SECTION 3. Act 234, Session Laws of Hawaii 2016, is amended by amending section 6 to read as follows:
"SECTION 6. (a) For the purpose of this section, "emergency shelter", "provider agency", and "transitional shelter" mean the same as defined under section 346-361, Hawaii Revised Statutes.
(b) Each contract that takes effect after June
2017,] 2018, between the department of human services and a
provider agency for the operation or management of an emergency or transitional
shelter shall comply with this Act. This requirement shall apply whether the
contract is entered into, renewed, or extended before or after June 30, [ 2017.]
(c) Beginning July 1, 2016, the department of human services shall work with provider agencies to implement this Act."
SECTION 4. Act 234, Session Laws of Hawaii 2016, is amended by amending section 8 as follows:
"SECTION 8. This Act shall take effect on
July 1, [
2017;] 2018; provided that section 6 shall take effect
on July 1, 2016."
SECTION 5. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect on June 30, 2017.
Homeless Shelters; Requirements
Establishes that emergency shelters may provide partitioned space for homeless persons or families based upon guidelines determined by the department of human services. Extends the effective date for Act 234, Session Laws of Hawaii 2016, by one year. Takes effect June 30, 2017. (SD1)
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.