Homeless Initiative Bills and Budget Amendment Sent to County Council
News Release from Maui County Office of the Mayor December 1, 2015
Wailuku, Maui - As part of Maui County's ongoing efforts to address issues and concerns related to the homeless community, Mayor Alan Arakawa transmitted five bills and a budget amendment to the Maui County Council last week.
If passed, the bills would strengthen the county code in sections which Maui police say would help them to enforce the law, specifically prohibiting drinking in public areas, urinating or defecating in public, lying down on public sidewalks, stealing shopping carts and aggressive begging. The budget amendment if passed would provide funding for temporary sheltering, expansion funding for homeless programs and the creation of a homeless section within the Department of Housing and Human Concerns.
"We have proposed solutions that would help the Maui Police Department enforce the law and keep people safe, while also creating and deploying emergency housing for our homeless community," said Managing Director Keith Regan. "Time is of the essence and we ask that our council members review, discuss and approve our funding requests as quickly as they can, so that we may get started."
Last week Tuesday Mayor Arakawa, Managing Director Regan and Housing Director Reimann presented viable options and recommendations to the Council that would help address the growing homeless crisis. This included the acquisition of rapid deployable emergency shelters that would provide much needed housing to the County's more than 1,800 unsheltered individuals. During the meeting councilmembers expressed support for the recommendations and urged the Mayor to transmit the required documentation so that they could take action.
The five proposed "nuisance" bills have been placed on the Council agenda for this Friday, December 4th. The budget amendment was transmitted directly to the Budget and Finance Committee but is not yet on the committee agenda for this month.
MN: Mayor floats 5 bills aimed at homeless
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LINK: Spacemax Shelters