Chinatown shop owners see increase in vagrants - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Chinatown shop owners see increase in vagrants

Homeless in Chinatown Homeless in Chinatown

HONOLULU (AP) - Storeowners in Honolulu's Chinatown say they're seeing an influx of vagrants and that it may be connected to the ban on sitting and lying on sidewalks that took effect in Waikiki in September.

Shop owner Sam Say tells the Honolulu Star-Advertiser he's familiar with many homeless people in the area but the arrival of others from outside the neighborhood has led to an increase in problems.

He says his business has been affected by vagrants behaving erratically and that fighting is common.

The Honolulu City Council has approved an expansion of the sidewalk sitting ban to Chinatown and other areas. Mayor Kirk Caldwell says he's waiting for a legal opinion before signing it.

Critics say such measures criminalize homelessness and don't get to its root cause.

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