Homeless Accused Of Hurting Business At Art Fest

Courtney Kaye
Courtney Kaye
Gordon Young
Gordon Young

HONOLULU (KHNL) - The homeless is a problem all over Oahu, not just the Leeward Coast. That's what vendors at an Artfest in Honolulu say, because they say the homeless people are affecting their business.

The Artfest organizers say they've had to make several changes to accommodate the situation. Vendors are frustrated, because they say this is something they shouldn't be dealing with.

They are crafts, clothes and cookies just some of the things that attract people to the artfest. Cut vendors say one thing that's keeping some away the homeless people at the park.

"We have permits to be here they don't," said Courtney Kaye, one of the vendors.

Vendors say one woman took down one sign on King Street for several days, to use as shelter from the rain.

"When I talk to people here, I always ask them how they wound up here, and a lot of them say they see the sign," said Gordon Young, another vendor. "So that definitely hurt us in that respect."

That's not the only thing. The fair moved to one corner of the park, to stay away from the homeless. One vendor found a man sleeping in her tent. And the fountain in the middle of the park, but crews shut if off because homeless people were using it to take a bath, and wash their clothes.

"They do affect our business, and we don't know how much of an effect they have, and it's also frustrating that they have no where else to go," said Young.

"It's the way things are," said Kaye. "It'd be nice to have those things but I guess there's no way to enforce it, it seems like there's no way to move them out of here."

The artfest is scheduled 14-more times this year five more times at Thomas Square. Vendors say they'll continue to work around the situation.