State crews clear out homeless encampments on Diamond Head

State crews clear out homeless encampments on Diamond Head
Updated: Mar. 22, 2017 at 9:42 PM HST
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KAHALA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - State crews spent much of Wednesday clearing out homeless encampments on Diamond Head.

Sweeps started about 5:30 a.m., and crews hauled tons of debris from one of Hawaii's most iconic landmarks.

Dan Dennison, Department of Land and Natural Resources spokesman, said seven citations were issued.

The trash hauled away ranged from household goods to scooters to framed art.

"Pretty much anything that you have in your house, you'll probably find up in the mountain here," Dennison said.

Homelessness on Diamond Head has been a concern for years, the situation has gotten more acute in recent months.

The DLNR drew a map of about 40 homeless camps on the ridge stretching from Kahala to Kapiolani Park.

In recent months, homeless outreach workers have been trying to move the homeless into permanent or transitional housing for the past six months.

"I love it up here .. nobody bother, nobody come. I like it that way. I like it when it's peaceful and when it's quiet, all you hear is the ocean," said Richard Paleka, who has been homeless for 32 years.

He thinks the sweeps are a good thing, but doesn't believe they work.

"They going come back. They all going come back. Gonna help for a couple days until everybody leave and then they're gonna come back," he said.

State officials said they'll will continue to offer social services in order to prevent the homeless from returning.

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