Homeless Hoopla - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

July 15, 2010

Homeless Hoopla

Along with tourism concerns and education issues, one of the many items you hear about over and over is homelessness. This is not a unique problem to Hawaii, but the fact that tangible and results-oriented solutions have been so hard to come by on many fronts of this problem over the years indicates that, no surprise, there are no easy answers. But homeless does not mean helpless. Transition shelters and short-term housing options have become more readily available over the past few years.

But some people don't want to be held accountable with rules and curfews. Some people are sick and need help they won't ask for. Some people have had some bad luck. But with homeless camps and tent city residents being shooed out of parks and off of beaches, it only makes sense that the dispossessed will invariably find more secluded and out of the way places to sleep and live.

The latest enclave of homelessness is the area behind Waipahu High School. So when residents and visiting soccer parents heard recently about vandalized sheds at Waipahu High and naked people bathing in the sinks at the Waipio soccer complex, the plight of the homeless reached a new audience.  A public/private solutions committee needs to be formed now to help come up with some ideas beyond shuffling people around. Bring in civic groups, government agencies, and religious assistance, but formalize it, set a plan, and act. For when stakes get pounded down for a new tent city, the stakes for our communities get too big to ignore. Think about it…

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