Ige creates leadership team to tackle Hawaii's homeless crisis

Ige creates leadership team to tackle Hawaii's homeless crisis
Published: Jul. 27, 2015 at 6:09 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 28, 2015 at 7:15 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Governor David Ige announced Monday his office has created a leadership team to address homelessness that will work in collaboration with federal and county partners to establish "best practices" for assisting the variety of needs and the complexity of housing the state's growing homeless population.

Ige says the group will meet weekly and announce specific efforts as decisions are made, but there was no other definitive action plan laid out Monday afternoon.

Addressing the growing encampment in Kaka'ako, Ige said his office is working to better understand and address the jurisdiction issues that have hampered efforts to effectively clear out the area.

PHOTOS: Kakaako homeless encampment

According to Ige, there is no firm commitment to a specific deadline for removing the homeless people who are living there. The governor said aggressive enforcement without anywhere for people to go simply displaces them into other communities and doesn't make sense until officials have a place to move the homeless to -- including a temporary "safe zone" site or transitional and permanent housing.

On July 20, Hawaii News Now reported that the City and State are working together to address the homeless encampment in Kakaako.

Sources tell Hawaii News Now that rising crime tied to homeless campers was one big reason for moving as soon as possible.

We're told the homeless will be given advance notice, so they have the chance to meet with service providers.

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