Maili Sunset on the Beach to Include Homeless

MAILI (KHNL) - The Waianae community is gearing up for movies, music and more. Sunset on the Beach will hit Maili Beach Park this weekend.

But first, event organizers had to figure out what to do with the homeless people who live there.

Patty Teruya has called Leeward Oahu home for more than 35 years. There's nowhere else she'd rather live.

"It's a beautiful place, beautiful beach, beautiful weather," she said.

With great pride, she and other community members are transforming Maili Beach Park into an entertainment venue.

"We're out here setting up," Teruya said. "We have our tents going up, the stage."

It's all for this weekend's Sunset on the Beach, which will feature music, games, food, and movies on the big screen.

"This is something that we showcase with Waianae pride," Teruya said. "And we welcome people to come and enjoy, and not label our community wrong."

But before the giant tents could go up, some smaller ones had to be moved out. The beach is home to many homeless people. Event organizers were worried about having to force them out.

"We wanted to be the one to come out here and talk to our homeless residents," Teruya said. "And they're our people from our community, and so we didn't want to have any H.P.D. or beach sweeps out in this coast. It's turning positive today. We had about eight campers move."

She says some are even volunteering to help with the event.

"Instead of segregating them out, we're including them in," Teruya said. "And I think it's important for a community, you know, such as this with the problem of homeless in our community."

Organizers expect 40,000 people to take part in the two-day event. Sunset on the Beach is scheduled from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.