Local Connection: Clif Johnson on Oahu's homeless
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - My Name is Clif Johnson and I am president of a condo in Waikiki. I thank Hawaii News Now for giving me the opportunity to speak out.
Last week, we sought help for a woman in a wheelchair who was in front of our building. She is gone for now but we are confident she will return. How many others like her are out there?
There are many challenges facing the government and even society in dealing with the homeless - especially when they (the homeless) need but refuse help. There needs to be a threshold, a line, and when that line is crossed the government must be able to step in.
This would not signify government over stepping its power; but government doing what it's supposed to do - what's best for the population as a whole as well as for those in need of help. We all cherish our freedom; but when people continue to make poor decisions on their own, whether due to mental issues or just ignorance, the government needs to be more aggressive in being able to handle these difficult cases - they need a plan.
Hawaii does not allow suicide to those who want to die, but Hawaii is willing to let people live on the street and die a slow death in public because they refuse help.
The inaction and nonchalant manner the government is demonstrating shows us that either it does not care or does not want to take it on. I believe it's the latter.
Simply saying "we're trying to get them into a shelter" or simply not responding to the issue proves this point.
This is like a war; and you must harness all your ammunition and build a strategic plan to win the war. Shelters are not the only answer and our government should realize that.
I applaud the reporting by HNN and the Star Advertiser, but right now they are the only one talking. It's about time the citizens of Hawaii, all islands; speak up and let our government hear from us. The voices of tens of thousands Hawaii citizens might get our government to do more.
Hawaii State government needs to wake-up to this problem and stop the "talk" and start "doing" something.
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