Hawaii's homeless crisis to be highlighted in HBO news show

Hawaii's homeless crisis to be highlighted in HBO news show
Updated: Mar. 30, 2017 at 4:44 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - On Thursday night, millions of HBO viewers will see a side of Hawaii they might not have known exists.

A lengthy VICE New Tonight segment puts a spotlight on Hawaii's homeless crisis -- and a state lawmaker's proposal to treat chronic homelessness like a health condition.

Correspondent Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani covered the story for Vice, and said seeing Hawaii's homeless crisis up close was jarring.

"I think one of the most shocking things for anyone who watches this story is really that juxtaposition of thinking Hawaii is this glamorous paradise island and then really seeing first-hand the level of crisis," she said.

Modarressy-Tehrani and her crew spent five days on the island, bouncing between the Queen's Medical Center and homeless camps.

Her story focuses on a proposal before lawmakers that would allow doctors to use money from Medicaid to get chronically homeless people into housing.

"There is a discourse going on across the country right now about health care and this story really is a component of that conversation," said Modarressy-Tehrani.

While the idea has sparked controversy, the plan continues to move forward at the Capitol. It's next hearing is with the Finance Committee.

"It will be interesting to see if others states go down this road of trying to think a little more creatively," Modarressy-Tehrani said.

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