City clears homeless along Kapalama Canal

City clears homeless along Kapalama Canal
Published: Jun. 23, 2015 at 3:08 PM HST
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KALIHI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The homeless living along Kapalama Canal were on the move Tuesday morning, but not because of the new expanded sit-lie law.

Instead, crews with the Department of Facility Maintenance were enforcing the Stored Property Ordinance, or SPO law, that prevents items being kept along city property.

Crews notified the campers 24 hours ago of what items were subject to removal by tagging specific tents and posting street signs for the hours of removal from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, unless they move it.

Trash and debris were collected by various crews early Tuesday.

Some of the displaced homeless packed up and waited nearby until the cleanup was done and later returned.

Once an item is tagged though, it can later be removed without notice if another enforcement action is made.

Social service workers say that housing is available now for several families with children who were displaced today, but that the adults haven't followed through to complete the process yet.

"These particular families that you were speaking with, we already have housing first units lined up for them, all they need to do is work with our outreach workers that are here every day to just go and get their free documentation and just get into the process, but sometimes it does take a little bit of motivation," said Kimo Carvalho of the Institute of Human Services.

Some of the homeless have moved to the Kakaako encampment area where they believe the city is hesitant to enforce SPO laws, while others have moved to emergency shelters.

A spokesman for Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell says the Honolulu Police Department is still consulting with the administration and city attorneys over how best to enforce potentially unconstitutional language in the law that "extends the sidewalk enforcement" to across the street.

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