City enforcing stored property law at Honolulu parks - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

City enforcing stored property law at Honolulu parks

Elijah Olden Elijah Olden
Trish Morikawa Trish Morikawa
Westley Chun Westley Chun
Vance Apolo Vance Apolo
D'Angelo McIntyre D'Angelo McIntyre

By Minna Sugimoto

MOILILILI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Dozens of homeless people with personal belongings on sidewalks or in parks in the Moiliili and Pawaa areas were told to move it or lose it Monday.  It was part of the city's continued efforts to enforce Oahu's new stored property ordinance.

Officials from two city departments were out issuing notices. The sidewalk area falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Facility Maintenance, while everything within a park falls under the Department of Parks and Recreation.

Together, they issued a total of 44 notices in and around Old Stadium Park, Moiliili Neighborhood Park and Pawaa In-Ha Park.

With pen in hand and a bunch of masking tape, city officials placed notices on tents, bicycles and other personal items taking up space on sidewalks, in parks and other public areas.  The warning -- remove your belongings within 24 hours or the city will do it for you.

"If we come back tomorrow and we see their property within this area or in the parks or across the street, we will impound it," Westley Chun, city Department of Facility Maintenance, said.

One of the notices was for a large green tent on the sidewalk along Old Stadium Park.  Any personal property seized on Tuesday will be taken to the city's facility maintenance baseyard in Halawa, where owners may reclaim it within 30 days.

Vance Apolo plans to get rid of some of the stuff in his tent and in a shopping cart, and find a new place for his necessities.

"I'm either going to store it at a friend's place or at my sister-in-law's," he said.

The 57 year old says he's been living on the street since he was evicted from his McCully apartment a year-and-a-half ago.

"It wasn't my first choice, but there was nothing else I could do because I was working, but I wasn't making enough to afford the rents here," Apolo said.

"We're trying to get people to go into shelters," Trish Morikawa, city Office of Housing, said.  "We checked last week.  There's openings at the shelters."

Driven by the community complaints they have received, city officials next headed to Pawaa In-Ha Park.

The parks department issued notices for the luggage and bedding on its property.  An arm's length away, the facility maintenance department dealt with everything on the sidewalk.

But after being awakened and receiving his notice, one man decided to take full advantage of his 24-hour window.

City officials say they have asked the Institute for Human Services to join them when they return to the three parks Tuesday. In the past, IHS has provided outreach services to the homeless and offered ride to its shelters.


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City starts posting warning notices for stored property law

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