Man's plight highlights lack of homeless services in Kailua
KAILUA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
His presence is unmistakable at Kailua Beach
Park. He identifies himself as Mike, a
61-year old homeless man who has set up his belongings underneath the
concessions window, right in front of the main entryway on the Kalapawai side
of the park.
"I lived here 61 years in Kailua, this is the only
place I know, is Kailua" he said.
Mike is there, he claims, because there aren't any services
available to him in his home community.
He told Hawaii News Now that he broke his hip at the Kailua boat ramp,
and was treated at Castle Medical Center three weeks ago. After receiving treatment, he was
discharged. Because he is immobile, he
needed a place where he could sit, rest, mend and stay clear of the elements.
"I got let out of the hospital, where was I supposed to
go? So I came here" he said.
His presence highlights the problem facing Kailua: a growing
homeless population with no resources available to them.
"Definitely on the windward side, in terms of our
homeless population, we are lacking services" said State Senator Jill
She was born and raised in Kaneohe, and has seen the numbers
"From last year to this year you have seen more than
double the number of homeless identified on the windward side, and that's
significant" she continued.
Tokuda said there is no easy answer to the problem. She noted that several town-side providers
come over to Kailua to offer services, but that often the homeless are
unwilling to leave the familiarity of their community.
Honolulu City Councilman Ikaika Anderson, reached by phone,
said he hopes Mayor Kirk Caldwell portions some of the money allotted for the
Housing First program to windward communities.
As for the homeless man Mike, he said he will stay at Kailua
Beach Park for as long as he can while he continues to mend. His request to the mayor was a simple one:
"To get places we can go to and be safe..that's