by Andrew Walden
Homeless Tent Cities have proven a disaster in Seattle, Portland, Sacramento and other mainland cities where they have been tried. Homelessness Industry organizers set up their tents in an area--and the meth-addled denizens generate a crime wave targeting local businesses and residents as they seek out anything they can steal to buy drugs. Exasperated local officials pay the organizers off in order to get them to move into a different jurisdiction where the cycle of crime and shakedown begins again.
In Honolulu, unofficial tent cities are now set up in strategic locations designed to pressure the tourism industry, the Chinatown community, the Korean community, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and the Honolulu Council debate over Housing First.
How were these tent cities established? Just look at the tents.
Occupy Honolulu, Thomas Square, 2012—a location chosen perhaps for its proximity to Honolulu Police Headquarters in an effort to create test cases and affect the legality of policies designed to pressure the homeless to accept shelter. As one set of tents was tagged under Honolulu’s 24 hour warning system, they were removed and replaced with a different set of tents—ones with yellow, green, red, blue or grey trim--so city workers could not seize them--leaving Occupy with lots of matching tents in storage somewhere.
This photo from 2012 shows tents being tagged by City workers on Occupy Honolulu ‘Red Day.’
When they were new, these tents housed Occupy’s professional protesters identified as being “flown in from the mainland“ by the Daily KOS. But photographed in late March, 2014, these same tents now can bee seen lining the sidewalk at Aala Park, helping criminals and drug addicts stay out of shelters and in proximity to Chinatown so they can prey upon businesses and residents.
The same type of tents can be found along Sumner St and Kuwili St in Iwilei….
Along Kohou St in Kalihi….
Right smack in the middle of OHA’s planned $200M condo development of Kakaako Makai. What will OHA pay to clear this camp when the time comes?
And in Pawaa In-Ha Park where Unite Here Local 5—which also played a key role in the Occupy protests--admits to assisting homeless drug addicts stay away from shelters and in position where they can continue to deface art installations sent from South Korea to honor the history of Korean immigration to Hawaii.
How long will it take until the Korean community buys off the union in order to stop their art displays from being used as an outdoor toilet? When that happens, the homeless will be moved to a new location and the cycle will begin again.
Meanwhile shelter spaces sit empty night after night and Honolulu’s proposed Housing First initiative is in disarray.
The Homelessness Industry has arrived.
Map: Locations of Tent Cities Photographed With Matching Tents
Homeless tent cities: Seattle’s decade-long nightmare coming to Honolulu?
Kapiolani Park: Homelessness industry takes Hawaii tourism hostage
Defeating the "homelessness industry" before it gets a grip on Hawaii
Gawker: Homeless? Buy a One-Way Ticket to Hawaii