City to enforce new homeless law - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

City to enforce new homeless law

Mayor Kirk Caldwell Mayor Kirk Caldwell
Douglas Sencio Douglas Sencio
Connie Mitchell Connie Mitchell
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Starting next week, the city will begin targeting the homeless who occupy city sidewalks.

The sidewalk nuisance law, or Bill 7, allows the city to confiscate the tents and personal belongings of people living on the city's walkways.

The city is not saying which homeless camps it plans to target first but it says it will take multiple enforcement runs early in the week.

"There are numerous places where we received complaints -- sometimes hundreds of complaints -- and we're going to these areas in no particular order and starting to use it to make sure everyone has access to sidewalks," said Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

The law was passed back in April but the city but the city held off implementation until the laws rules and regulations could be worked out.

The new law allows the city's Department of Facility Management to confiscate homeless people's belongings without having to provide 24-hour notice, as it is now required.

Owners have 30 days to get back their property before it's destroyed but will have to pay a $200 fee to do so.

Those affected say the new law treats them like second-class citizens.

"Unfair. It's unfair. They should crack down on the ones doing the criminal acts. They're using us as a shield," said homeless resident Douglas Sencio.

Meanwhile, the city says it working closely with homeless shelters to provide space for those affected by the crackdown.

"I think we're trying to collaborate with the city to offer services to anyone who wants to come off of the street," said Connie Mitchell, executive director of the Institute for Human Services.

 

Copyright 2013 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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