Fourth Kakaako park closes amid ongoing homeless crisis

(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

KAKAAKO (HawaiiNewsNow) - Authorities are closing another Kakaako park amid complaints about homeless encampments.

Mother Waldron Neighborhood Park will be closed from 10 p.m. Tuesday through Feb. 2.

The city said the closure is for maintenance and to test an anti-graffiti surface treatment on park walls.

Dozens of homeless people have moved into Mother Waldron Park in recent weeks after being swept from other Kakaako parks.

City officials say many of the homeless in the area have been bouncing around the Kakaako area for years — illegally camping in driveways, parks and sidewalks.

Marc Alexander, head of the city's Housing Office, said outreach providers have been working with those staying at Mother Waldron to give "everyone every opportunity to make sure they've availed themselves of services."

He added that many of those at the park are "service-resistant."

Mother Waldron, a 1.76-acre park bounded by Cooke and Halekauwila streets, brings to four the number of parks closed in Kakaako for repairs.

Also closed are:

  • Kakaako Waterfront Park, which is set to reopen Jan. 8 after being closed three months.
  • The two Kakaako Gateway parks, which were closed in December for the second time in two months.

At all four parks, authorities struggled for months to keep homeless encampments out.

The park closures come amid promises of increased enforcement of homeless encampments in the area.

While Mother Waldron is not huge, it is widely-used by Kakaako residents and office workers.

The park dates back to 1937, and is listed on the state's registry of historic places.

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