Kakaako Gateway Parks closed again for homeless sweep

Published: Dec. 17, 2017 at 4:50 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 18, 2017 at 5:26 AM HST
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KAKAAKO (HawaiiNewsNow) - For the second time in a little more than two months, Kakaako Gateway Parks are closed to the public For years the state has struggled to keep illegal campers out. But recently up to 50 squatters reclaimed the park after the state fenced off their old campsite a few streets over.

"It's something you can't avoid. It's right in front of you," said Jon.

Jon works across the street and said the camp makes it hard to run a business. On top of all the trash and loose dogs -- he told us violence is getting worse.

"It becomes a little more scary sometimes," said Jon. "We have a lot of incidents where police has to come over here."

Now the state is taking a new approach to try and dismantle the camp by doing sweeps side by side with the city.

"We will be enforcing park closure and the city and other state agencies will be enforcing their laws in order to actually try and address the problem in a more holistic way," said Garett Kamemoto, Hawaii Community Development Authority.

Dual enforcement will begin when the park closes Sunday night at 10 p.m. The area will remain off limits until January 8th while crews make repairs. A new security detail will be in charge of making sure everyone is out of all Hawaii Community Development Authority Parks each night.

In the meantime outreach workers are offering help to anyone who wants it.

Illegal campers say they're prepared to move -- and stick together wherever they go.

"Everybody like go where everybody going be. Because safety. So it's like where the majority goes," said Derek Stabilio.

Point Panic and Kewalo Basin Park will not be affected by the closure.

Kakaako Waterfront Park is also set to reopen January 8th after being closed three months.

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