Think About It: If You Build It... - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

November 16, 2015

Think About It: If You Build It...

The state was unable to find contractors willing to remove the homeless and their belongings in Kaka`ako last week. Eight companies apparently said "no thanks". And by removal, of course, we mean simply watching the homeless get shuffled down the road, across the street, or into a new, nearby park.

Yes, having an aggregation of homeless where the area gets so large it has its own unincorporated name causes pressure, angst, drama, fear, avoidance, and possibly violence, so at what point will we simply say- enough. Enough of just moving the people around. Enough of the whack-a-mole method. Enough of passing the buck between the city, state, and private landowners. You would think that the threats of lawsuits about property rights if not human decency would force more solution-oriented thinking, but yet we hear only of the need for housing and the "housing first" concept without much being constructed or approved.

The most exciting and encouraging news of late is the announced plan for a privately-funded and creative attempt by the civic-minded Aio Foundation to establish a site off of Nimitz Highway, if everything gets approved. And by the way, the incessant use of the word "sweeps" is wrong. It sounds like we're cleaning up litter. Create and build something, pay now and work on quantifying results vs. paying over and over for clearing streets and then wondering why things just don't get better and people won't go away. Think about it… 

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