Think About It: Pay to Play - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

August 27, 2015

Think About It: Pay to Play

You might have seen last week that the head of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness was here and said, "Homelessness is evidence of a family in crisis." It really didn't take a mainland expert to inform us that we have a crisis on our hands. Hopefully he also made some pro-active suggestions about ways that the public sector has worked with the private sector in other cities so that we can start applying proven solutions here.

We hear that it's too dangerous to disrupt 300 people in the tent city in Kaka'ako. Too much chance for group revolt. Well, that's especially true if they have nowhere to go. With sit-lie laws in place throughout town and with fences going up around the Kapalama Canal, we keep making it abundantly clear where homeless people should not be. But whether it's retrofitting shipping containers, upgrading unused state or city buildings, including schools as one person wrote in to the Star-Advertiser.

Boston, Denver, Seattle, Salt Lake City and Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, all seemed to have found a modicum of success of late in housing the homeless immediately and providing social services. What works? What doesn't work? Will the medical sector here step forward in greater numbers to offer mental health aid and social services, as the number of people now on our streets is overwhelming for the limited government social work sources? Yeh, we have a crisis. Resolving that crisis with action is what we need to see. Think about it…

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