Hawaii considers "safe zones" for homeless encampments

Hawaii considers "safe zones" for homeless encampments

Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii is exploring setting up "safe zones" for homeless people to camp. It's one of an array of offbeat solutions to its homelessness crisis which ranks worst in the nation.

Lawmakers also are considering allowing people to lease driveways for homeless people to live in cars or tents. Another bill would allow counties to set up alternative dwelling parks featuring mobile homes, traditional Hawaiian thatched homes, shipping containers or tiny homes.

But Gov. David Ige's office is against the bills. Ige's Homelessness Coordinator Scott Morishige says state-sanctioned homeless encampments would be unsafe and divert money that could go toward permanent housing. Morishige says federal housing officials oppose sanctioned homeless encampments so by creating one the state could risk losing federal money.

They also point to Hawaii's failed attempts at sanctioned encampments decades ago.

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