The state's efforts on homelessness of late may be causing more people to come into shelters for food. Then again, there may simply be more people in need these days. If you've driven on Beretania near A'ala Park lately, you'll see that things have really come full circle from 20-years ago when the homeless camped out in the park. Nowadays, the tents are pitched alongside the fence across the street
Moving people around, from the beaches on the leeward coast to the beaches and parks in Kakaako and Waikiki deals with the issue temporarily, but it doesn't solve the problem of course. And certainly, everyone in position to make decisions on the homeless matter locally wants to ensure that those attending the APEC meetings in November don't have to deal with avoiding tent stakes and shopping carts in Honolulu.
But where is the sense of urgency to bring in outside experts from other metropolitan areas that might have some answers that we haven't acted on, heard of, or tried? Where is the three-day conference to bring all of the various parties together to hammer out some "best practices" scenarios? Feeding the hungry in one location or moving the tent cities around the island like a sad case of musical chairs is obviously not the end we are hoping for. Treatment, empathy, public/private business ventures, housing options, religious group involvement- we need better solutions to really trim the numbers, while also acknowledging that some stable people just want to be out on their own. Saying we want to help the homeless is like saying we want good education for our kids... so what are you going to do about it differently this time? Think about it.