Local Connection: Spotlight on Oahu's homeless issue

Local Connection: Spotlight on Oahu's homeless issue

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - With the heavy spotlight we have been putting on the homeless issue, I've received a lot of feedback, most of it positive when it comes to the resources we have devoted to the issue along with the Star-Advertiser.

But occasionally I hear people say that they simply don't care about the problem.

There will always be homeless, they say. They don't want to follow the rules and will never live in housing even if it were built tomorrow. They prefer to live rent-free and mortgage-free where the weather is beautiful.

Last week, when we showed the homeless living along Keehi Lagoon, some accused us of being exploitive. Many have lived like that for 20 years and aren't hurting anyone. Why point a camera at them?

We start from a place that says nobody should be homeless. Everyone should have a roof over their head, a place to sleep and a couple of meals a day. That's not too much to ask, is it?

But we are even more committed to highlighting this problem because it's massive. It's on just about every section of every island. How do we not show the scale and scope of the problem if are cameras are not capturing the despicable conditions some of these people have to live?

Of all the problems associated with homelessness on Oahu and the other islands, we don't talk enough about perhaps the most heart-breaking aspect of the issue: raising children on the streets.

It's bad enough that we allow homeless people all around us, but when you see children, some in diapers, walking around the Kakaako camps with no access to proper nutrition and sanitation, it makes one pause. Some are going to school but many are not.

We cannot allow this to continue and we will do all we can to keep this issue on the front burner.

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