Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Paul E. Rutledge


The issue of homelessness is one that many cities and states in the United States have to contend with; however, the issue of homelessness on an island can be even more difficult to find viable solutions. The homeless problem on the island of O`ahu is one that affects not only residents but also tourists. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to reveal the perceptions of policy makers on the island of O`ahu, Hawai`i if diffusing public policy from Salt Lake City, Utah, would help ameliorate homelessness on the island. The theoretical framework was the diffusion theory and diffusions of innovation. These conceptual frameworks provided a lens to find viable solutions to reduce homelessness on O`ahu. Data was collected utilizing a triangulation process, whereas surveys were completed and collected from 18 policy makers, 3 knowledgeable sources were interviewed, and reports and articles from Salt Lake City and O`ahu were analyzed regarding homeless policies to ascertain whether diffusing policy would ameliorate homelessness on O`ahu. The data collected was then analyzed and hand coded to identify themes and patterns. Results indicated that affordable housing, a coordination of services, as well as a collaborative relationship with other organizations, would help with reducing homelessness on O`ahu. Furthermore, adopting policy from Salt Lake City would have to be adjusted for cultural issues of the population as well as a shortage of available land on O`ahu; however, the majority of the lawmakers found value in the plan implemented in Salt Lake City. The implications for positive social change are directed at informing policy makers about the necessity to diffuse policy from Salt Lake City to ameliorate homelessness on O`ahu.