HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - We learned a lot from the Hawaii News Now/star advertiser poll on homelessness, which we released earlier this week. Most of all, that people care about the issue.
Our polling expert Rebecca Ward of Ward Research pointed out that the poll showed very high agreement on key questions, found few people unaware of the issues, and most very knowledgeable.
She says that proves that the public is highly engaged with the homelessness issue - they are watching every development…and care how their leaders respond.
But it also showed people care about homeless people.
We were pleasantly surprised that two thirds said they would be willing to accept a homeless shelter in their neighborhood. They told us they believe affordable housing and poor job prospects are the main reasons, in other words, most do not choose to be homeless. They are saying being homeless is not all their fault.
It's heartening to see that even during this serious and challenging crisis… Oahu residents are still responding with aloha and compassion.
We have also been hearing from many of you about our effort as journalists and those comments as well have been generally considerate of the plight of the homeless, although quite a bit less forgiving of the politicians who let this get out of hand.
But even elected officials have expressed appreciation for the pressure that has brought some less enlightened colleagues to embrace solutions at last.
It reminds us again that we are all in this together…and together we can solve homelessness.