Dozens of homeless living on Diamond Head told to move out

Dozens of homeless living on Diamond Head told to move out
Updated: Feb. 16, 2017 at 5:24 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - High above Diamond Head Road hidden in the brush is a community of make-shift homes.  On Thursday outreach workers made the trek up a narrow path into one of Oahu's most remote homeless camps.

It's estimated there are between 30 and 35 people living on the makai side of the Diamond Head State Monument.  The tents are spread out.  Social workers say most of the people have been there for years.  In some cases more than a decade.

Earlier this week crews began posting notices in the area alerting campers they had 30-days to leave.  Now social workers are back offering help to anyone who will take it.  They've sheltered six people in the past two months.

While some people refused to come out of their tents others were eager to talk.  A man who didn't want his face shown on camera told us he lost his job a year ago and his been staying on the monument ever since.  He asked outreach workers if they can help him get food stamps.

"I don't have an address and I heard Care-A-Van is closing down. Sometimes I'm starving out here and we're far from food," said the man.

Although people can be ticketed for camping on the monument the state says they're not looking to get anyone in trouble.

"Our strategy is not to criminalize anyone who is here but really to divert them from the criminal system and actually connect them to services that can assist them and get them into housing long term," said Scott Morishige, Governor's Homeless Coordinator.

While workers canvassed the mountainside crews from the state began placing markers atop piles of rubbish.  Garbage trucks can't get to the area so workers will have to manually haul out all of the trash.

The state will begin it's clean up towards the end of next month.

Hawaii News Now has learned the City has jurisdiction over the cliffs on the makai side of Diamond Head Road therefore they will not be included in this sweep.

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