City gears up for next round of Kakaako sweeps - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

City gears up for next round of Kakaako sweeps

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

City crews are preparing for another round of sidewalk sweeps to clear homeless campers in Kakaako makai this week. Workers will tackle a block from Ala Moana Boulevard to Ilalo Street between Ohe Street and Koula Street on Tuesday. They'll remove tents from two other blocks on Thursday and Friday.

"Sweeps are necessary when people have places to go, and I think that's what's being attempted right now is to be sensitive to that and to solve the problem," said William Hummel of the Lighthouse Emergency Shelter.

The shelter in Waipahu took in 27 people from Kakaako, according to Scott Morishige, the state's coordinator on homelessness. Some of them left after trying out the facility.

"The other 8, we don't know. They came for a few nights and didn't come back, so maybe they made other arrangements. Maybe they found somewhere else on the street to go. I don't know, but 17 out of 25 is a pretty good percentage," said Hummel.

Morishige said that 94 people from the Kakaako encampment have gone into shelters or more permanent housing. 293 homeless campers were counted during a survey last month.

"The fringe area that's kind of been enforced so far wasn't heavily populated and the folks that have kind of been in that area have mostly moved closer toward the dense core where there have been slots that have opened up as families and other individuals have moved into shelter," explained Scott Fuji of PHOCUSED.

According to Morishige, 23 people are at the Next Step shelter and 36 are at the Institute for Human Services. IHS also placed five people into permanent housing. 

"Within this urban core area there is a capacity issue," said Fuji. "There's constant motion within those. Service providers are constantly serving new families as other families transition out into other housing options."

A few people also went to the Kealahou West Oahu emergency shelter and the U.S. Vets shelter at the Waianae Civic Center.

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