Loneliness, a word often used to describe the experience of homelessness. Those who are homeless are often ostracized by the community, but even worse, separated from their loved ones. Jamie Horton is a US Military veteran who moved to Hawaii nearly 12 years ago. Following a series of unfortunate events, Jamie found himself homeless in Wahiawa, over a thousand miles away from his family back home in South Carolina.
Over the next 10 years, Jamie faced countless struggles while living on the streets, and eventually found himself staying at Karsten Thot Bridge in Wahiawa. It was there that our Achieve Zero Outreach team, along with Dole, HPD CPT D2, and Councilwoman Heidi Tsuneyoshi's office encountered him.
Initially, due to past negative experiences, Jamie was not open to receiving services. However, our team was persistent in their efforts to engage with him. After a few weeks of consistent engagement, Jamie agreed to stay at HONU, a temporary shelter that was built in Whitmore.
While there, Jamie was given the time and space he needed to heal, while at the same time move forward towards reuniting with his family. Throughout his stay at HONU, Jamie was able to get reconnected with his VA benefits, medical care, and more! However, Jamie did not just receive services while at HONU, he also took the time to give back. Jamie volunteered on a weekly basis to help with the beautification of Karsten Thot Bridge, the exact place where he had lived for years. He was compassionate and hard-working in all that he did to give back!
Eventually, our team, along with the HONU staff, HPD CPT D2, Dole, and Councilwoman Heidi Tsuneyoshi's office were able to help Jamie reunite with his family back in South Carolina. On his last day in Hawaii, countless people came to wish him good luck on his new journey, including Officer Ah You, who wished him goodbye with a beautiful song. It was a beautiful moment we will never forget! We are happy to share that Jamie is doing amazing back home! He is now reconnected with his family, living in a loving home, and working towards employment. He was also given the opportunity to walk his Mom down the aisle at her wedding. We are so grateful to have been a small part of the incredible journey he is on!
For their great work and dedication, with people like Jamie, the HPD CPT D2 team was given the Mayors Commendation. Mahalo to the team for their continuous partnership and hard work to end homelessness