Think About It: If I Had A Hammer - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

November 25, 2013

Think About It: If I Had A Hammer

Thor, the acknowledged God of Thunder, has often used his hammer with great effect and efficiency; just look at his current cinematic venture, which has grossed well over $500-million worldwide. Granted, his hammer is a magical one, and most Hollywood superhero flicks end well to ensure a sequel, but when mere mortals try to prove a point using hammers, the results are not always as well-received and hopefully don't' include a sequel. Now that state representative Tom Brower has put down his shopping cart-destroying sledgehammer, we will see if there are immediate or longer-term impacts on the local homelessness situation and the clutter and filth associated with vagrancy.

If so, will this destructive effort encourage other so-called cleanliness vigilantes to start destroying bathrooms at beaches, public parks, and classrooms at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, which are surely in need of some immediate retrofitting and sanitation upgrades? We can only hope not. But Brower's power move did remind us, once again, how complicated and unsettling the homeless situation is in Hawaii. Oversimplify things by suggesting that more housing and safe zones and fewer dirty shopping carts will finally and completely solve the problem is naive. 

More housing will not alleviate the severe mental illness that is suffered by many of our homeless. A safe zone will not resolve the anti-social or maverick tendencies that keep some homeless people from opting to enter existing shelters now, as they prefer not to deal with curfews and restrictions on smoking and drinking. More one-on-one intervention by paid professionals with housing and medical options to offer will help, and that takes time. If there was ever a doubt about by-products of homelessness affecting the community at large, the point was hammered home when one legislator decided to pound stolen or vacated shopping carts in his cleanliness quest. Now maybe we can get back to solving the real problem, which are the homeless people themselves. Think about it…

Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2001 - 2018 Raycom Media. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.
FCC Public File
Phone: 808-847-9371
Closed Captioning