Homeless ‘safe zones' considered by Hawaii officials - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Homeless ‘safe zones' considered by Hawaii officials

Russ Saito Russ Saito
Darlene Hein Darlene Hein

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - There's more talk about creating a safe zone for Honolulu's homeless. Thursday lawmakers held a briefing with homeless advocates, but there were more reasons why a safe zone may not work.

There are nearly 6,000 homeless statewide, more than half of them are on drugs or alcohol and 25% are mentally ill. Advocates say they may not want to be moved, and some state officials think a safe zone is a lawsuit waiting to happen

"If we create a place and call it a safe zone and they start to have some issue, the state is going to be liable because it's a state-sponsored facility" said state Comptroller Russ Saito.

"There are so many so severely mentally ill even if you forcibly took them, then they would be gone the next day" said Darlene Hein of the Waikiki Health Center

There is no land or money for such a program just yet. Still lawmakers plan to continue working on the problems.


Copyright 2010 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved

Powered by Frankly