KYMBERLY MARCOS PINE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 28, 2018
Media Contact: Cathy Lee
Councilmember Pine’s Statement Regarding City Shifting Homelessness to Waiʻanae Coast
HONOLULU — Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine issued the following statement today in response to the City Administration’s policy of relocating homeless individuals from downtown areas to the Wai’anae Coast.[i]
“The Administration’s effort to solve homelessness in urban Honolulu by providing homeless individuals with a one-way ride to the Leeward Coast is unacceptable. Transferring homeless individuals to an unfamiliar location upends any sense of stability a homeless individual may have. Furthermore, it also reduces the level of service to the large population of homeless Leeward service providers are already caring for, all while doing nothing to solve the homeless crisis,” said Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine.
Waiʻanae residents have raised concerns to Councilmember Pine regarding an increase of homeless individuals loitering in the community. Residents are concerned that there is little follow-up after the Administration drops off these homeless individuals on the Leeward Coast, “I am concerned that the homeless from Honolulu are being transported from the Honolulu/Waikiki areas and then unloaded at the Waiʻanae shelter…those people don’t stay in the shelter but hang around in the community,” said an area resident who called Councilmember Pine’s office on Monday.
In 2015, Councilmember Pine introduced Resolution 15-325 (subsequently adopted by the City Council in a 9-0 vote) which urged the City administration to focus the procurement of homeless housing, hygiene services, and social services in the specific geographic regions where homeless people already reside. The Resolution directed Council policy to recognize that each Council district is different, and that homelessness in each part of the island needs to be addressed on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis, not by picking up homeless in one part of the city and dropping them off on the other side of the island.
Councilmember Pine represents residents of District One (’Ewa, ’Ewa Beach, Kapolei, Honokai Hale, Ko Olina, Nanakuli, Maili, Wai’anae, Makaha, Keaau, Makua).
[i] This was first reported in the June 24th Star-Advertiser article Rides to Shelters Help Clear Sidewalks. In the article, it was reported that the Administration’s Office of Housing Executive Director Marc Alexander stated: On May 16, plainclothes Honolulu police officers from HPD’s new H.E.L.P. (Honolulu Homeless Outreach Program) used three HPD vehicles to drive people from Chinatown to the Waiʻanae Civic Center shelter. In addition, it was also reported that on June 13th, Alexander used a city van to take two people and their dog to the Waiʻanae Civic Center during outreach efforts in Ala Moana Park, Waikiki and Old Stadium Park.