A lot of Chinatown and Waikiki businesses and residents do not like that there are homeless people living there.  Residents feel the number of homeless people is growing, and in fact that is true. They feel that homeless people are making the area dirty and unsafe, scaring away residents, tourists and other customers of local businesses.

Chinatown is in Council District 6.  Waikiki is in Council District 4.

There is a nearly complete background on the issues here. The only things it does not contain is information about what the City has done in 2012 and 2013 on homelessness.  Most notably, the City created the “stored property” ordinance, which allows police to take homeless people’s property if it is on a public sidewalk if they give 24 hours’ notice.  Even if the property, such as a shopping cart, is moved to a different sidewalk, the police can still take it.  The police store it for 30 days, and if the person whose property was taken pays a $200 fee, they can get it back.  Otherwise it is destroyed or sold.

  1. Criminalizing homelessness is unproductive and cruel.
    1. Should implement a “Housing First” policy in Hawaii.  Housing is a strategic initiative that results in many other desirable outcomes not just for the homeless, but for community too.  Similar program has been proven in other cities.
      1. Costs $35,000 to $150,000 per year in public services for one person living on the street.
      2. Can end homelessness for about $13,000 to $35,000 a year.
      3. HUD Secretary Donovan says, “not only better for people, but cheaper to solve homelessness than it is to put a band-aid on it”.
      4. Florida report says costs $31,000 to support homeless on street, only $10,000 to provide housing.
    2. Police, prison, court, property crime and healthcare costs exceed costs of social support programs.   Freeing or cutting these costs benefits community. 
    3. Housing eliminate risk factors like: untreated drug habits, support services on site, weather/hygiene exposure, police interaction, physical assault. 
  2. Homeless in Waikiki
    1. Homelessness need to be regulated in Waikiki to protect the long term sustainability of Hawaii as a tourism destination.  Legislation can be made for the Waikiki Special District. 
  3. May Kirk Caldwell also support and advocates strongly for his Housing First project.
  4. Bill 7
    1. CC Bill 7 went into effect July 2013. 
    2. City can immediately confiscate personal belongings from sidewalks after posting a removal notice near the spot where items are located. Those who have their property taken away have 30 days to reclaim it, but must pay a $200 fee if a waiver is denied
      1. replaced old law that gave homeless 24 hours notice to remove property.
      2. Bill a response to Occupy Movement tents at Thomas Square and homelessness in general.