Local Connection: Homeless Year-ender - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Local Connection: Homeless Year-ender

Homelessness was clearly the biggest story of the year in Hawaii… so before we get completely caught up in our own holiday celebration… let's take a look at where we stand.

First of all…we still have way too many people living without shelter in Hawaii.  Everyone should keep these people in their hearts during this season.  

While there has been a lot of talk about solving this issue… and more people are in shelter than before…what's clear is that government has mostly just disbursed the homeless and a permanent fix remains elusive.

There has been progress of course.  Strategically located fences have basically cleared out the pathetic camp along Kapalama canal. 

The largest Kakaako camp has been eliminated…although some hard-care folks still remain.

As of last week…the city of Honolulu was still hopeful it could effectively end homelessness for our veterans.

And both city and state are promising to build more shelters and permanent housing for the poor in the next year. 

It's been six months since Hawaii News Now and the Star-Advertiser formed our partnership on the homeless issue. We have shed light on many aspects of this complex issue - and everyone should understand that this is not something that could be cured overnight. 

We must not only increase the affordable housing stock… we need to do more for people suffering from mental illness and drug addiction.  And government must change policies to encourage developers to help build housing that gives the middle class a fair shot at the American dream of home ownership.

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