Makua Homeless Need Assistance

Lu Faborito
Lu Faborito
John Kahakelii.
John Kahakelii.

MAKUA (KHNL) - New homeless shelters and a clean Ma'ili Beach Park; it's all part of an on-going effort by Governor Linda Lingle to address Hawaii's homeless problem.

But a Makua resident sent KHNL a "Talk Story" e-mail, saying the problem hasn't exactly gone away.

Lu Faborito said homeless families have moved further west. She sees them wandering in her neighborhood, and hopes the government can help them.

Ma'ili Beach Park: a month after the city and county cleaned it up.

"I think what they did was great. Maili looks beautiful," said Faborito. "You want to take your family out there."

She lives further west, in Makua. Faborito said displaced homeless people have moved into her neighborhood.

"Keaau Beach Park when we first moved here four years ago, did not have as many tents as I see now," she said. "There's over 30 tents and families and that doesn't include what runs along the beach side."

Faborito said it keeps the community from enjoying the park.

"They used to have some church picnics out there," she said. "As of recently, I haven't seen any. I haven't seen any family parties."

But even folks who live on the beach, don't want to be here. They'd rather have a roof over their heads.

Folks like John and donna Kahakelii, who've lived here for six years.

"I'm just looking for a second chance, " said John Kahakelii. "You know. That's it."

"We don't want to be here," added Donna, his wife. "I'm tired. I want to get off the beach so bad."

They say rising rental prices pushed them onto the beach.

"I had to move out," said John Kahakelii. "Couldn't get back in the rental system because everything's too high."

Faborito hopes the government can help those on the west end of the island.

"I don't know what the answer is," she said. "I really don't, but we got to do something."

Searching for solutions to a tough problem.

Existing shelters are near capacity, but plans for the latest homeless shelter on the leeward coast have been approved. The state is waiting for the deed to transfer, and for construction permits to get approved. Once construction begins, a new shelter serving up to 250 people, will open a year later.