Local Connection: Homeless in Hawaii

Local Connection: Homeless in Hawaii

By: Rick Blangiardi

It is gratifying to see that some progress is being made on dealing with the homeless, thanks in part to the top two news organization in town.

Hawaii News Now has chronicled over the past few months the controversy over the city's sit-lie bills...the fact that one out of three inmates at OCCC is homeless...and we looked at the new plan to shift the homeless to Sand Island....and examined how the homeless cannot get into shelters without proper identification.

Our news partner, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, did an excellent series that started last Sunday about how hard it is to get the chronically homeless into emergency shelters, they looked at families who need the help the most and showed how those who received permanent housing end up back on the streets.

Most interesting were the observations of reporter Allison Schaefers and photographer Krystle Marcellus after spending three days at the institute for human services shelter in Iwilei.

But there are success stories.

We were proud to have Tannya Joaquin feature a story about an 88-year-old air force veteran named Thomas Murray who was one of the first homeless seniors to get a rental through the US vets housing first program. This was a vet who was sleeping in his car and living at Hawaii Self Storage until they found out. Now he lives in an apartment in Makiki and couldn't be happier.

Hawaii News Now and the Star-Advertiser will continue to put a spotlight on the issue of the homeless. We will not stop until there is an end to homelessness in Hawaii.

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