Homeless forced to leave Ulehawa Beach Park - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Homeless forced to leave Ulehawa Beach Park

Felipe Kuehu Felipe Kuehu
Desiree Mossman Desiree Mossman
Debby Combs Debby Combs

By Oscar Valenzuela - bio | email

WAIANAE (HawaiiNewsNow) - Debby Combs loaded up her small pick-up truck with as much materials as she could, before the night's deadline.

Illegal homeless campers on the Waianae coast were given notice to leave Ulehawa beach park by 10 p.m. Sunday night, many simply walked away leaving most of their belongings behind .

Combs, a nearby Nanakuli resident, wasn't packing her things but instead gathering metal left behind by others before the sweep would take place. She worked quickly knowing that at any point the police and city clean up crews could show up to evict everyone from the park.

I asked her if she knew if they would be bringing trucks.

"Yup and they load them all up. So what are you doing? I'm taking the iron before they come," Combs said.

But exactly what time they would come was up to anyone's guess, so most residents just picked up and left.

For others it wasn't so easy to leave.

A few of the homeless campers stuck around to give a helping hand. A man simply referred to as "uncle Ben" decided to assist one beach park overnight resident who'd built up a home's-worth of belongings.

"Oh I'm just helping one of my uncles out. He's got a lot of stuff to move and short time for the deadline," Ben said.

As time ran out there were still old couches, mattresses and kitchenware strewn everywhere. There was an entire shelf unit left standing beachside with dozens of canned goods and other house wares simply laying about.

Friends with vehicles did what they could for those in need.

"My truck is available so I let them use it, you know, something to help them." said Desiree Mossman, a homeless woman herself.

Two hours past the deadline hour and there was still no signs of police or the clean up crews. Felipe Kuehu and his girlfriend had done everything they could to prepare.

"Today while she was at work, I had my two boys and was doing everything, taking down my stuffs, breaking down the tent and getting everything ready." Kuehu said.

Ready, except he wasn't quite sure what he was ready for. They had nowhere to go and the night was getting cold for his two young sons. Sitting just feet behind him in the cold of the dark blustery night was his 1-year-old in a stroller. Beside him, his 3-year-old brother curled up on an old backseat of a car, covered with a small blanket.

Kuehu pointed out that this ordeal is a lot more difficult now that he has children of his own. He said he'd been through this kind of thing before but it wasn't a big deal when it had been just him.

In the end Kuehu decided to try a relative's house for his kids sake, but like everyone else trying to make due on this ominous night, any promise of shelter for the night, and the future, was still uncertain.

As he packed up his boys he told me his plans.

"The boys will spend the night at their grandmother's house," Kuehu said. "Hopefully. If she's still up, but if not, then out in the cold."

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