Bill indirectly involving homeless to be voted on - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Bill indirectly involving homeless to be voted on

City Council to vote on 'homeless bill' City Council to vote on 'homeless bill'
"Catfish" "Catfish"
Ralph Dela Calsada Ralph Dela Calsada
Tulsi Gabbard Tulsi Gabbard
Iwilei Road Iwilei Road

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The homeless community is anxiously awaiting word about a vote in the city council this Wednesday regarding Bill 54 which would allow the city to confiscate personal property in parks or sidewalks. 

The council says it's not about the homeless although they are the ones that would be most affected.

Many of the homeless that were along Beretania Street have now moved on the other side of Aala Park on Iwilei Road.  They're still not out of sight or out of mind.

"We're Americans. So what if we live on the streets we built these streets," said Catfish, homeless. "So what we're not bothering anybody."

But they are bothering those that work nearby.

"All on the line they make all kinds of doo-doo all lined up," said Ralph Dela Calsada, who works on Iwilei Road.  "They got to do something about it. This is terrible. It's terrible. It is embarrassing for our state."

Bill 54 would not fine, cite or prosecute anyone.  But it would allow the city to confiscate any personal property on public spaces.  The idea appears to have support in the council but other ideas, like the bulky waste law were passed and are still yet to be implemented.  If passed will bill 54 be enforced?

"That's something we've been asking the city because we don't want to pass legislation that is basically going to be empty," said Tulsi Gabbard, Honolulu District 6 Councilmember who introduced the idea.

The Honolulu Police Department will not enforce this law.  Instead that will be up to city workers with the Department of Facility Management who will first warn the owner.  Then the crews will come back after 24 hours and take it if it's still there.  But they won't throw it away knowing one man's trash is another's treasure.  The city will store it for 30 days then they'll post another notice.  If the owner doesn't come get it, the property will finally be thrown away.

It's a big effort but apparently with minimal costs.

"We've discussed the costs and they're confident they'll be able to do it with the funds they already have in their budget for this fiscal year," said Gabbard.

The final vote comes up on Wednesday.

To read the full text of Bill 54 click here.


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