Homeless Visitors - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

October 17, 2007

Homeless Visitors

Kudos go out to the numerous groups in both the government and private sectors who have really stepped it up in the past year to help alleviate the problem of homelessness in Hawaii.  But the newest solutions to this problem will apparently be coming from Waikiki, as the number of homeless and panhandlers has increased there, perhaps in part due to the nightly closing of Ala Moana Beach Park about 18-months ago.

Homelessness is a tough social ill which requires careful discussion and decision-making.  Sometimes people are sleeping in parks or on benches due to bad luck, and these are not necessarily bad people.  But when it hits Waikiki, and not some beach far away from the local mecca of tourism, you can bet action will take place a bit more quickly.  Sometimes business needs and concerns can make for great social strides.  More education, more social work, more affordable housing units, more options--basic, existing ideas--but all require money, personnel, conviction, dedication, and follow-through.  And some of the homeless simply don't want help, which compounds the dilemma beyond dollars and common sense.

Nonetheless, expectations on a nighttime stroll for visitors certainly do not include visions of people curled up on benches and beaches.  If this latest migration of the homeless on Oahu to Waikiki can further help to minimize our consistent vagrancy problem with new solutions, then everyone will benefit.  Think About It.

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