1. PACIFIC ISLANDER REPRESENTATION
a. Employment: Anecdotally, there is a lack of Pacific Islanders employed by service agencies that focus on housing. The number of Pacific Islanders employed by agencies that do place based health work is even fewer. Though the Pacific Islander community is relatively small, Pacific Islanders make up a large proportion of the communities served by the programs
and services offered. Housing agencies should, therefore, prioritize employment of Pacific Islanders, in particular for place-based programs with a health focus.
b. Pacific Islander Taskforce Role: The Pacific Islander Taskforce could serve as an information dissemination bridge from housing agencies to the Pacific Islander community, but this does not remove the need for organizations to increase the number of Pacific Islanders that these agencies should aim to employ.
c. Pacific Islanders’ Role in Decision-Making Process: For housing agencies to make cost effective and well-informed decisions about programming that affect the Pacific Islander community, they should involve Pacific Islanders in the process before decisions are made.
d. Pacific Islander Representation in Leadership Positions: Because government housing programs would have a significant effect on Pacific Islander populations, City and county governments should seek Pacific Islander representation on housing-related councils, commissions, workgroups and so forth, in particular when the focus of such bodies is to encourage interagency and/or inter-county collaboration.
2. AGENCY ACCOUNTABILITY AND RESPONSIBILITY
a. Agency interest: Housing agencies should integrate Pacific-Islander well-being into their internal thought processes about how and where their work should be done. Agencies should be proactive about investigating community needs, evaluating programming to ensure that it has a positive effect on the Pacific Islander population, and striving to increase their knowledge about the community on an ongoing basis.
b. Agency Capacity-Building: Housing agencies should build their internal capacity to understand and serve the Pacific Islander community and refrain from exclusively relying on the Taskforce to meet those goals. The Taskforce has the capacity to act/serve as an information bridge between agencies and the community, but its role can and should go beyond that as a partnership goal. Complete reliance on the Taskforce to understand the community’s needs and share information about agency practices will lead to exhaustion of Taskforce Members’ capacity to play those roles. Instead, housing agencies should continuously ask themselves the question, “What role does our agency have to play in improving outcomes for the Pacific Islander community?”
c. Training: City and county housing agencies should create training opportunities for staff to learn about issues facing the Pacific Islander community, such as migration and trauma.
d. Cultural Humility Models: Housing agencies should integrate Pacific Islander cultural models of well-being into the services offered to housing residents in their programs, including art and dance. Services should align in a culturally sensitive way to be most efficient and useful to the Pacific Islander community.
3. DATA COLLECTION
a. Data collection and sharing: Housing agencies should increase efforts to identify Pacific Islanders in the public housing system and create effective processes for reaching those not yet identified. Mistrust of the housing system may be a barrier in collecting this information. An agency commitment to rebuilding damaged relationships and trust would help to remove this obstacle.
4. FUNDING NEEDS
a. Taskforce Investment Funding: The Pacific Islander Taskforce is meant to serve as a stand alone advisory body for agencies and local governments. For the Pacific Islander Taskforce to sustain itself and remain an important community and agency resource, agencies and city/county governments should commit to the Taskforce’s continued involvement by allocating funding towards the Taskforce’s infrastructural goals.
b. Pacific Islander Community-Based Organization Investment Funding: There are very few Pacific Islander-focused community-based organizations. These existing organizations do incredibly important work within the community, and agencies and city/county governments should allocate funding towards these organizations to ensure that they remain a vital community resource.
©2022 Regional Pacific Islander Taskforce