Homeless return to Kapahulu despite sweep

Homeless return to Kapahulu despite sweep

KAPAHULU, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - More than a month after state crews cleared out homeless campers living under an overpass along Harding Avenue, they have returned.

About a dozen makeshift tents and cardboard shelters were visible Friday morning across the Market City Shopping Center.

A Department of Transportation spokesman said highway maintenance crews and sheriffs swept the area of trespassers on August 4. It's part of the DOT's twice-a-year effort to clear state properties of trash and homeless squatters. The week to two-week effort can cost up to $300,000 each.

Homeless service providers like the Institute for Human Services were unsuccessful in getting any of the campers here into services or emergency shelter.

Some residents and business owners in the area have complained to city and state officials about the impact the homeless are having on their businesses, facilities, the community and tourism.

When asked what was next to be done to address the encampment by DOT officials, we were referred to the governor's office and the new Homeless Coordinator, Scott Morishige, for answers. But we have yet to get a response.

In the meantime, the city is moving ahead to provide notices of park and sidewalk property enforcement efforts in a second area of the large Kakaako encampment. Another round of sweeps will be done sometime next week in the Ewa area of the encampment near the former Gold Bond building.

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