Homeless Beach Campers Say They Are Not Pulling Up Stakes - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Homeless Beach Campers Say They Are Not Pulling Up Stakes

By: Beth Hillyer

WAIANAE (KHNL) - The first families are moving into the state's new Leeward Oahu homeless shelter. But many beach residents say they aren't budging.

The shelter opened its doors this week to a number of families. But the facility has some homeless Leeward residents concerned.

Still, their time on the beach is almost up.

The campers we met say they have until the end of the month to move. But many say they have no plans to pack up because they say the new shelter isn't for them.

Annie Lau lives at the beach with her husband and two dogs. The City issued notices telling campers like Annie that Maili Beach park is closing March 27th.

Annie's been homeless for five years and she took a drive by the new shelter to see if it would be right for her family.

"Concentration camp straight up," says Annie. "I'm not going to be put in something and not have my freedom."

She points out there's no parking, plus says pets aren't allowed. She explains many homeless people keep dogs for protection.

Other campers say they are staying put.

"Oh, I'm not gonna pack up and move to the new shelter. I don't see it as a place for me," says Marlene Anduha, homeless Maili camper.

They complain they'd lose their freedom.

"There are five pages of rules, ask permission to leave, pay $80 a month -- at first they were saying it was free," says Marlene.

Marlene got a notice telling her to clear out by month's end.

"Look at this paper they gave us. Gotta move off the land. Kamehameha left the land for the Hawaiian people to live on," says Marlene. "We resort to the beach, now gotta get off the beach."

We are trying to contact the Governor's Office to inquire about some of the issues the campers brought up regarding fees, pets and parking.

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