Kakaako homeless given extension to pack up and leave - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Kakaako homeless given extension to pack up and leave

Homeless people live in tents in Kakaako. Homeless people live in tents in Kakaako.
Robert "Rabbit" Li'i Robert "Rabbit" Li'i
Douglas King Douglas King
Anthony Ching Anthony Ching

By Teri Okita – bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kakaako's homeless got a two-week notice. They're being told to take down their tents and leave the area by mid-March. Earlier this month, many of the homeless say authorities told them to pack it up by the end of February. So, we went back to Kakaako to follow-up. On Monday, they were told they have a couple more weeks to move.

State officials went tent-to-tent - passing out flyers and giving the homeless a warning. "Basically, by the 15th, you know, we need to try to move everybody. Like we said, we're going to place as much people as we can to services," says a Hawaii Community Development Authority employee, as he hands a flyer to a homeless man.

The HCDA, along with the city, the sheriff's department, HPD, and outreach services have been coordinating efforts to help them move. It comes in the midst of growing complaints about the area's burgeoning tent city.

HCDA executive director, Anthony Ching, says "The area is becoming dilapidated and run down. In the last two months, there's really been a spike in the population out here, and so, it's resulting in a lot of trash, a lot of unpermitted lean-tos and tents, and the grass is dying."

They've been advising folks here to get on outreach waiting lists as soon as possible.  So, on the back of these warning notices are homeless services.

55-year-old Robert "Rabbit" Li'I has lived on this street for five years. He's been looking over his shoulder all day - wondering whether or not authorities would kick them out.

"I don't think it's today," says Li'i.  "I don't think it's today because they would have been here already."

Down the street, we revisit Douglas King. Since we first interviewed him three weeks ago, he's launched a business and hopes to be in a new place before, what he calls, "the homeless sweep".

King says, "I'm going to work my butt off to get an apartment. I'm working. I started my own business as King Shine Car Wash and Wax."

The Atlanta native has also received national attention in the last few weeks for his ability to rattle off, alphabetically, all the countries in the world. We put that segment on our website, Hawaiinewsnow.com, and it didn't take long for it to go viral.  That led to interviews on radio stations across the country.

But this fleeting bit of fame doesn't mask the harsh realities of the streets, and they've all got just two weeks to figure out what to do next.

Copyright 2011 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.





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