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NEWS RELEASE: Governor David Ige announces new state homeless coordinator

Posted on Aug 10, 2015 in Latest Department News, Newsroom, Office of the Governor Press Releases

HONOLULU – Gov. David Ige today announced that Scott Morishige will join the administration on August 24th as the Governor’s Coordinator on Homelessness. Morishige will serve as the state’s point person for homelessness, which includes leading the Hawai‘i Interagency Council on Homelessness (HICH), staffing the Governor’s Leadership Team on Homelessness, and working closely with Director of Human Services Rachael Wong and the rest of the cabinet on its coordinated statewide plan. He and his team will be located in the Governor’s office.

Scott_MorishigeMorishige will be leaving his position as executive director of PHOCUSED, a nonprofit and advocacy organization for health and human services, where he is responsible for the operations of the organization. He has managed multi-million dollar programs for the Hawai‘i Community Foundation and Helping Hands Hawai‘i. He was a successful grant writer and directly managed and implemented various projects for low-income and vulnerable individuals and families at Alu Like, Inc., The Salvation Army and Legal Aid Society of Hawai‘i. Morishige also has experience working at the State Legislature and the Legislative Reference Bureau. He is active on the Susannah Wesley Community Center board and has served on the Access to Justice Commission, the Parents, Inc. board, and the Hawai‘i Commission for National & Community Service.

Morishige holds a Master’s degree in social work, child and family practice, from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. He earned a B.A. in political science from Oregon State University.

“Scott is an experienced nonprofit leader with a deep commitment to strengthening human services in Hawai‘i. He understands how to develop and sustain programs, as well as the value of building and maintaining relationships to get things done. Perhaps most importantly, Scott has the knowledge and networks to step right into this vital leadership role,” said Gov. Ige.

“Scott brings a strong knowledge of human services programs, as well as Hawai‘i government and the larger community. He has proven his ability to bring a diverse set of partners together on behalf of those who most need assistance, and I look forward to working closely with him to engage partners from other sectors to collectively address homelessness,” said Rachael Wong, director, Department of Human Services.

“I am excited to join the Governor and his leadership team to address homelessness, which is one of the most complex issues facing our state. This is an opportunity to build upon the great work of service providers and collaboratively work together with them and other stakeholders to identify and implement effective solutions,” said Mr. Morishige.

Composed of state department directors, federal agency representatives, and community leaders, the HICH is tasked with providing solutions to end homelessness and strengthen the continuity of efforts to end homelessness across future State of Hawai‘i administrations. It is housed administratively within the state Department of Human Services.

Link to media briefing on this week’s meeting of the Governor’s Leadership Team on Homelessness:


Media Contacts:

Jodi Leong

Deputy Communications Director/Press Secretary

Office: 808-586-0043

Mobile: 808-798-3929

[email protected]


Cindy McMillan

Communications Director

Office: 808-586-0012

Mobile: 808-265-7974

[email protected]