Homeless expert Colin Kippen speaks out after being fired by Gov. Ige

Homeless expert Colin Kippen speaks out after being fired by Gov. Ige

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A day after learning he will not be retained as the state's czar on homelessness, Colin Kippen spoke to Hawaii News Now.

"I want to say something very clearly: we can end homelessness." 

Ever the optimist, Kippen remains unbowed, defending his record over the past three years.

"I spent my time going wherever I needed to go to find the evidence based best practices and to convince those people into coming out here to train us."

Kippen said a lack of budgetary support hampered his efforts. 

"The reality of it is, trying to bring these ideas to scale with no budget...is difficult, but the conversation is ensuing and what you're seeing now is the programs coming online with systemic changes embedded in them." 

Many of his initiatives were cultivating relationships and putting systems in place--efforts unseen to the public--and the governor.

"He may not know there's a plan, but again, he's coming into this trying to do the best that he can".

Kippen was also critical of the mayor's "compassionate disruption."      

"I  think that the city's enforcement of their stored property ordinance and their sit and lie ordinance started moving people and pushing people into areas they haven't been before, and I think that literally created a crisis."

Still, he sees positive steps being taken by community leaders.

"If you're going to end homelessness, if you're going to build affordable housing for the poorest of the poor in our community, you have to have political will."
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