Local Connection: Homeless lawbreakers

There were two very disturbing stories last week that illustrate the changing nature of our ongoing homeless crisis.

First, a young mother who says a deranged homeless woman attempted to snatch her baby from her car. That act inspired the council to support expanding the sit-lie law into Iwilei and Kapalama.

The other story, also from our Allyson Blair, was about a fence installed just a few months ago along the Nimitz viaduct to keep vehicles and dogs off the airport bikeway. The viaduct dwellers simply vandalized the locks and have been coming and going as if it didn't exist.

The excuse for not cracking down on homeless squatters on public property has been there is not enough shelter or social services.  But that argument should not apply to people who repeatedly refused to accept the help. And we should ask if it is criminalizing homelessness to arrest a criminal who is homeless?

It's time to increase the effort on compassionate disruption…or shall we say compassionate prosecution, to break up entrenched 
camps and make it a little harder to live a criminal lifestyle on public land.

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