Second round of Kakaako homeless enforcement to kick off Thursday

Second round of Kakaako homeless enforcement to kick off Thursday
Published: Nov. 11, 2015 at 10:13 PM HST|Updated: Nov. 11, 2015 at 11:35 PM HST
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Starting Thursday, if you're caught in Kakaako Waterfront Park or Kewalo Basin after hours you'll be cited for trespassing.

Problems at the parks started within days of the city completing its high-profile sweep near the Children's Discovery Center.

On Wednesday, there were still dozens of tents at Kakaako Waterfront Park and Kewalo Basin. And park goers say the number of homeless camping in the waterfront park has nearly doubled over the past few weeks.

Paul Allard, 92, who lives in the neighborhood near Kewalo Basin said the homeless shouldn't be living in the parks.

"Every morning we would have five or six people urinating in our shrubbery," he said.

He also said he missed a doctor's appointment this week because he was afraid to catch the bus at Ala Moana and Atkinson after a group of homeless moved into the bus stop.

He said they set up camp after a recent sidewalk sweep.

"When people go by they kind of go out on the sidewalk. They don't touch them but act like they're going to," Allard said.

The owner of a convenience store in the area has been dealing with problems of her own.

Shoplifters target her store on a daily basis, she said, and she thinks the problem is connected to the growing number of homeless people.

"So many times I catch them. But every time I cannot call police because it's only a little thing, right," she said.

The woman didn't want to show her face fearing retaliation. Ten days ago she got banged up confronting a thief, she said.

"Because I don't want to lose my stuff. So I try to grab him but he have more power than me," said the shop owner.

The woman says she's pleased to hear about the new enforcement action.

But Allard's not convinced anything will change.

"I think our politicians are wimps because they have the power to go after these people. Us as individuals can't do anything about it and it's very disheartening," he said.

Outreach specialists continue to work with the homeless in the area to try and get them into a shelter.

Several of the homeless Hawaii News Now spoke with Wednesday said they've been to shelters and don't want to go back.

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