HOMELESS TASK FORCE CREATED FOR HAWAII KAI HOMELESS
News Release from Office of Rep Gene Ward October 26, 2016
Rep. Gene Ward (R-Hawaii Kai-Kalama Valley), along with concerned members of his community have made it their priority to identify homelessness in East Oahu and remedy the issue by offering information of organizations that can assist them with medical, food, clothing, housing and in some cases occupations. Hawaii has dozens of programs to assist anyone in need of these things. (see attached brochure.)
The Hawaii Kai Homeless Task Force was created in response to the increase of the homeless migrating from Waikiki and Kakaako to East Oahu over the past two years and came to a head when about 20 people were encamped on the waterfront property of the Hawaii Kai Marina behind the Great Lawn adjacent to the Dog Park a few months ago. “The Homeless Task Force will inventory, monitor, offer outreach services and relocation options; and work with the private and public organizations in the state and city; the problem has to be solved at the micro-local level as well as the macro-state level,” Ward said.
The Hawaii Kai Homeless Task Force is headed by Director Mike Goodman, who recently completed his Juris Doctor degree at The University of Hawaii at Manoa William S. Richardson School of Law.
In the past two months, two illegal homeless encampments have been relocated and the Hawaii Kai Homeless Task Force were there to ensure that legal guidelines were followed and that these individuals were offered food, water, supplies and options.
Hawaii has the highest per capita number of homeless in the nation. In addition, almost 50 percent of our population is just one paycheck away from homelessness. The government estimates that about 7,600 homeless people are without homes in Hawaii, but Hawaii News Now (Rick Blangiardi) research indicates it is more likely about 15,000 homeless people in Hawaii. Rep. Ward was part of the CEO SleepOut with Blangiardi at the Capitol Rotunda sponsored by the Salvation Army and is part of a private sector effort to do something about homelessness that everyone is realizing the government cannot do.