We’ve all seen it grow with each passing year. And we all know that Hawaiʻi’s houseless crisis isn’t going away anytime soon. But if you care to better understand its root causes – how close some of our friends might be to actually living on the street and how we might prevent it – then check out Bridging the Gap, A short documentary about Hawaiʻi's houseless crisis, by Brooke Fisher. “This project helped me understand the importance of Human Development and Family Studies to support our families and children as a form of preventative work,” says the HDFS undergraduate and worker in mental health and addiction services.
Society, Brooke argues, cannot function effectively and efficiently when such a large percentage of the population is either experiencing homelessness or facing multiple risk factors that lead to this status, such as inadequate wages and the high cost of living. Her hope is viewers will gain a better understanding of this problem to pave a path that will lead to more support for this population.
“The material I learned in the classroom, combined with the hands-on experience working alongside this population, allowed me to recognize the cause and effect that occurs due to a challenging upbringing,” she says.
“I am so proud of Brooke, who worked tirelessly to create an informative and meaningful film to help us understand the potential root causes of Hawaii's houseless crisis,” adds Sothy Eng. “As she points out, if we don't spend more time investing in our families and our children, we will never be able to overcome this crisis.”
Watch the full 9-minute Bridging the Gap. This project was funded by UHM's Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP).