Hundreds of homeless ordered to leave city park

Tracy Amadeo
Tracy Amadeo
Shina Gonzalez
Shina Gonzalez
Al Tufono, Honolulu Parks & Recreation Deputy Director
Al Tufono, Honolulu Parks & Recreation Deputy Director

MAKAHA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Last year city crews cleaned out Keaau Beach Park of the all the homeless that were illegally camping there.  Now the hundreds of people living in the area referred to as the Bush have to leave too.  The Bush is the undeveloped land right next to the beach park.

Tracy Amadeo is packing up everything she owns.  She's been living in a tent in the Bush the past six years.  But she is one of the many that were told by the city they are trespassing and have to leave.

"I was like okay lord where do we go now?" said Tracy Amadeo, homeless.

Some of the people have built elaborate campsites, many have animals and there are also a couple dozen children.

"It's devastating a lot of people, a lot of people. There's nowhere to go," said Shina Gonzalez, who has been living at the park the past four years. "We live like human beings, we're not animals. We got to survive too just like everybody else."

"We totally feel for their situation and we understand the heartache that is happening to them but we want to get them to a place where they can transition into a facility, into a homeless shelter, someplace that is more sanitary and a lot more safe than living at a park," said Al Tufono, Honolulu Parks & Recreation Deputy Director.

The city says people have complained about getting bit by dogs, the rubbish and domestic violence.

"The reason we are going out is because we've been getting complaints about health and safety," said Tufono.

The city doesn't run any homeless shelters but is told by those that do there are enough beds available to accommodate the people from Keaau Park.

The homeless are skeptical.  Some plan to find a new area to camp or head for the hills.

"Now they're throwing us out of the Bush. So what's next? I guess the mountain," said Gonzalez.  "Their minds are all distorted, what am I going to do? Where am I going to go? How am I going to eat?

Tracy Amadeo says she has a spot waiting for her at the Waianae Boat Harbor but she already knows it's temporary.

"All I do is pray for my people out here. My heart cries out for them you know," said Amadeo.

"The people have until 10:00 Monday night to leave or face trespassing citations.  Then cleanup crews will arrive at 8:00 Tuesday morning to start removing whatever is left.

Copyright 2012 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.