Crews complete second phase of Kakaako homeless enforcement

Crews complete second phase of Kakaako homeless enforcement

KAKAAKO, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Just after 11 a.m. on Thursday, garbage trucks rolled onto Ilalo Street.  The few people who remained quickly gathered the the last of what they could carry and left.

Officials say signs warning of this particular sweep went up Sept. 1., but several tents still hadn't been touched.  Steve Young said his friend was supposed to have his shelter moved, but he didn't do it in time.

"It's meant to fold up like that, in case a sweep came like this," said Young.

Workers recorded everything that happened, documenting what was found, stored and thrown away.

Crews cleared sidewalks covered in everything, from couches to clothes and trash. A block over, people who wouldn't be affected by today's sweep packed up. That didn't surprise the man who heads this effort.

"When we conduct enforcement actions, if there is prior notice  the people who are actually encamped will move out just so to avoid any contact or conflict," said Department of Facilities Maintenance Ross Sasamura.

Service providers remain a constant fixture here offering shelter to those who want it.  So far 80 people, including 12 families, moved from this encampment into transitional shelters across the island.

Farther into the heart of the encampment, there are still dozens of tents and make-shift shelters. It's less than the nearly 300 people camped here in beginning of August, but it's clear the enforcement effort is far from over.

"We're actually working toward the goal to have the area cleared for public use by the end of the year," said Sasamura.

An exact date for the next enforcement has not been set.  But officials say it will happen next week.

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