Governor details 90-day homeless plan - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Governor details 90-day homeless plan

Gov. Neil Abercrombie and state homelessness coordinator Marc Alexander. (Source: Jim Mendoza) Gov. Neil Abercrombie and state homelessness coordinator Marc Alexander. (Source: Jim Mendoza)

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Governor Neil Abercrombie calls his 90-day plan a "critical step" in the effort to help the homeless.

"This puts the pressure on us to deliver," he said.

"It is not going to solve the issue of homelessness but it will move us in the right direction," state homelessness coordinator Marc Alexander said.

The plan includes objectives that focus on getting the chronically homeless off the street and into shelters and providing services to homeless who are mentally ill.

"Part of that is identifying areas that need attention where perhaps people are setting up inappropriate shelters, going out there making sure we offer them services. offer them help," Alexander said.

"When we clean up an area it's going to stay that way," Abercrombie said. "People who may see an opportunity to simply wait for an area to get cleaned up and then move back in are going to find that that's not going to be possible."

The 90-day plan also calls for encouraging church groups and charitable organizations to work with shelters instead of feeding homeless who live in parks or on the sidewalk.  And it calls for expanding the hours homeless shelters are open and fixing them up.

"Some of them need some repairs. Some of them can be augmented in terms of services," Alexander said.

We asked two people who work with the homeless what they'd like to see as part of the plan.

"I'd like to see them come to Chinatown. I'd like to see them come in our dining room and talk to the people that we feed every day," said Merrie-Susan Marchant of River of Life Mission.

"I would like to incorporate every person in the community to help out. And every idea I would welcome," Next Step Shelter executive director Utu Langi said..

The governor said his plan uses existing state funds designated for helping the homeless.

Alexander said he hopes to see visible results before the plan ends on August 17.

For the latest information about the state's efforts in the fight against homelessness, visit the Governor's web site at http://hawaii.gov/gov.

Copyright Hawaii News Now 2011. All rights reserved.

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