HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A day after the homeless encampment along the Kapalama Canal was given notice to pack their belongings, crews moved through to clean up and enforce the city's stored property ordinance -- which officials say is designed to keep public areas safe and sanitary. But just hours after crews cleared the area Tuesday morning, many of the homeless who were camping out here had already returned.
Stefanie Sanchez has been living along Kohou Street with her 4-year-old daughter for three months now. She says she missed a trip to the Food Bank Tuesday to make sure their belongings weren't taken.
"There's people who miss work. There's people who miss school. There's people who get their things swept because maybe their bus was late or something and then they have to start all over. It just sets us back. To me, in my opinion it does nothing productive but waste the state's money on the workers that have to come through," said Sanchez.
City officials confirm they spend about $15,000 a week on enforcements -- that's about $1.9 million since January 2013.
Officials say they're aware that in many instances, the homeless return within hours.