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Officials consider moving Oahu homeless camp inland

November 20, 2018

HONOLULU (AP) — Officials are working on a plan to move a large homeless encampment on Oahu to privately owned land farther inland.

The 270-person camp called Puuhonua o Waianae is currently situated on nearly 20 acres (8 hectares) of state land next to a Waianae boat harbor, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Monday.

Camp leader Twinkle Borge declined to give specifics about the potential move, saying many details need to be worked out and money needs to be raised.

“We do have a solution,” Borge said.

A move could be facilitated by mid-2019, depending on when and if the details are worked out, she said.

“We’re not leaving one person behind,” Borge said.

State Department of Land and Natural Resources officials have said that the camp might be harming a rare red shrimp and contributing to a spike in vandalism and water usage. They claim it could also be damaging ancient burial sites and old rock walls.

Borge wants the new location to have fresh water, sewage and trash pickup, which would eliminate some of the complaints about the current camp. Officials are also looking to build tiny homes for camp residents.

State lawmakers during the last session debated over $30 million in funding for safe zones for homeless, with some legislators citing Puuohana o Waianae as a potential model. Gov. David Ige and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell have said they want the zones to provide permanent housing supported by social services.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com

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