Homeless move out for Ulehawa Beach improvement project - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Homeless move out for Ulehawa Beach improvement project

Patty Teruya Patty Teruya

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The city is launching a three-phase repair and maintenance project at Ulehawa Beach Park in Nanakuli. That means homeless people living in the first section had to pack up and get out by 10 pm Sunday.

The park will be shut down for the next several days. Members of the community say they're looking forward to seeing that area revitalized.

For the past nine years, Ewa Beach resident Aaron Ah Sing has come to Ulehawa Beach Park in Nanakuli in search of sea shells.

"Some of these, if you look at them, are from the conch family," he said while showing off his collection.

Ah Sing believes not everyone is able to see the beauty of this beach because of all the trash, and the growing population of homeless people.

"You could probably say that about most places you go," he said. "If there's something that doesn't fit, then it makes them standoff-ish."

There aren't too many tents left in the stretch between Lualualei Naval Road and the canal. The homeless had to clear out so the city could begin the first phase of its Ulehawa Beach Park improvement project.

Between now and 3 pm Friday, city crews will repair and paint picnic tables and park benches, do some landscaping, and fix the irrigation systems.

"We need to revitalize this community," Patty Teruya, Nanakuli-Maili Neighborhood Board chair, said. "We need to bring economic development back to this community and re-green this community. Part of doing that is cleaning up our community and our parks so we can invite tourists and other, you know, people to come and visit."

After the first phase is completed, Ulehawa will re-open, but will join several other Leeward beach parks that observe overnight closures. City officials say community members, concerned about health and safety, requested the move.

"We were just having more increase of illegal camping and it was just getting pretty dangerous out at the beach parks at night," Teruya said.

The second and third phases of the project, which involve other sections of Ulehawa, are planned for February through April of next year.

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