Homeless encampments growing in Hawaii Kai - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Homeless encampments growing in Hawaii Kai

(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
HAWAII KAI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

A homeless encampment has sprung up in an area many people would least expect: in Hawaii Kai. 

The encampment was growing behind the dog park on Keahole Street, on the banks of the marina.  The Hawaii Kai Marina Community Association cleared three acres of brush, which dispersed the population.

"I didn't even know the water was right there.  They cleared it all out" said park user Michael McKenna.

McKenna uses the dog park three times a week, and saw first-hand what was happening with the encampment.

"It went from like 3 people to 40 people" she said.

Most she said, went about their way--but there were some discomforting elements.

"There used to be someone that was a little scary.  She would sit on the other side of this fence and yell at us".

The community association's tactic of clearing its land worked, as the population dispersed, but only temporarily.  Now, just feet away is a complex of elaborate dwellings on city owned land.

"The city has been out to the park n ride numerous times, and it's an area we remain vigilant on" said Director of Facilities Maintenance Ross Sassamura.

Sassamura says the city has removed property from the site.  While clearing out the brush is an option, Sassamura says there are currently no plans to do so.  He also notes that any action taken by the City has to be in response to a complaint.

"Our complaints number is 768-4381 and we hope people will call frequently and they will call as often as necessary to make sure we enforce the necessary ordinances".

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