Advocates report increase of homeless in Waikiki - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Advocates report increase of homeless in Waikiki

Advocates and residents say they've noticed an increase of homeless in Waikiki over the last month. Advocates and residents say they've noticed an increase of homeless in Waikiki over the last month.
Advocates say they've trying to reach out to homeless moving into Waikiki. Advocates say they've trying to reach out to homeless moving into Waikiki.
WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Over the last month, Institute for Human Services officials have seen more homeless along the Ala Wai Canal in Waikiki. 

It's an issue that's not going unnoticed among residents.

"They're on the sidewalk, yeah," said Mary Kalio.

"More homeless," said Steven DeLucia.

DeLucia has lived in Waikiki for 12 years. Walking the Ala Wai is a part of his daily routine. 

"I can't sit down on the benches because homeless are taking all the benches," said DeLucia.

Officials from the Institute for Human Services said they've gotten several inquiries over the last month about homeless moving in near the Ala Wai Golf Course.

About 1 p.m. Monday, Hawaii News Now cameras captured homeless people sleeping on benches as well as in the grass outside the Kapahulu-Waikiki library. 

A woman was pitching tents next to the Ala Wai golf course, and people were camped out on the opposite end of the canal near McCully in the Ala Wai Dog Park. 

IHS spokesman Kimo Carvalho said an IHS outreach team reached out to about 15 homeless people camped along Ala Wai Canal on Monday. Most were single males.

“Most of them were clearly substance abuse users,” Carvalho said, adding that none of the homeless took IHS up on an offer of additional services.

Carvalho added that as of Monday, there were 72 openings at the IHS men’s shelter.

Hawaii News Now also reached out to the city regarding the uptick in the number of homeless in Waikiki. Department of Facility Maintenance Director Ross Sasamura offered this response:

“The city is aware of an increase in people experiencing homelessness along Kapahulu Avenue, near the Kapahulu Waikiki Library and Ala Wai Golf Course.  We will continue to enforce the Stored Property and Sidewalk Nuisance Ordinances where applicable.  If you witness a violation of either ordinance, please contact the SNO/SPO Hotline at 768-3585 with the exact location and nature of the concern.  Enforcements take place island-wide and are complaint driven.  The city will be returning to the Kapahulu area to address the issue.”

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