Homeless camp under Kalihi Valley bridge raises concerns

Homeless camp under Kalihi Valley bridge raises concerns
Homeless tents along Kapalama canal

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Large homeless camps along the Kapalama Canal and in Kakaako are being swept away, but to where?

One of those places might be in Kalihi Valley, where area residents have complained about a homeless encampment next to Kalihi Stream, beneath the Nalanieha Street bridge. There, some homeless residents have strung up a large gray tarp.

State Rep. John Mizuno (D-Kalihi Valley) got a handful of complaint letters from constituents about the camp.

He visited it, talked to some of its residents, and got permission to take a short video of the area. He said there are approximately a dozen people who live there.

"They are willing to get help, so they are going to come up to talk to me," Mizuno is heard saying in the video.

"There's a big migration of homeless that are going toward the west," he said. "And since this is west from where they're at, they're coming to Kalihi, Kalihi Valley. You'll probably see them in Aiea, Pauoa."

Mizuno fears there will be more of these camps after the homeless were cleared from the Kapalama Canal -- where a fence was put up to keep campers out -- and Kakaako.

Residents who live near the bridge declined on-camera interviews, but some have complained that fruits and vegetables are being stolen from their gardens.

But another resident who knows the people in the encampment said they used to stay in two nearby derelict houses that were recently demolished, and that they were being allowed to remain in the area because they are helping the property owner clear the land.

Mizuno said the homeless campers beneath the bridge are looking for some help, which would also help the neighborhood.

"Hopefully, in a respectful way, get them out of these encampments and get them to a shelter, a safe zone. That would be the best result for both sides."

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