3 closed Kakaako parks cleared of homeless encampments
HONOLULU (AP) — Authorities have cleared about 100 homeless people who were illegally camping at three Kakaako parks.
Maintenance crews on Monday started clearing Kakaako Waterfront, Gateway and Kewalo Basin parks, which were all closed last week to the public because of safety concerns.
The state Department of Public Safety says no arrests were made, but a police presence remains. “No trespassing” signs were posted on Monday and sheriff’s vehicles were posted at entry points at Kakaako Waterfront Park.
State homeless coordinator Scott Morishige said outreach workers were on hand during the sweep to help those who were displaced.
Workers said 32 of the displaced people, including families with young children, were helped into various shelters. Four people were placed into permanent housing.
“It really takes a concerted effort of outreach so we can get people off the streets and get them to a place of stability,” Morishige said.
Several other people declined offers to go to a shelter or use other social services.
The Hawaii Community Development Authority is assessing damage to the grounds from vandalism and the encampments. An initial estimate was $500,000.
Reports of fires, dog attacks and vandalism prompted the closure of the parks.
The Department of Transportation plans to conduct a sweep later this month of a homeless encampment under the Nimitz viaduct.