‘No Room in Paradise’ shows depth of homelessness
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Hawaii News

‘No Room in Paradise’ shows depth of homelessness

  • COURTESY PHOTO

    A screenshot from the documentary “No Room in Paradise” shows Justin Phillips, homeless outreach field manager for the Institute of Human Services, offering help to a homeless person.

  • BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Anthony Aalto, left, and Mike Hinchey, creators of a documentary on Honolulu’s homeless, talked with James “Rockefeller” Hope at his campsite at Kakaako Waterfront Park on Wednesday.

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A 90-minute documentary that takes a comprehensive look at Honolulu’s homeless problem — and offers possible solutions — will begin airing on television this week with the message that “these are human beings, we can’t turn our backs on them,” according to one of the producers.

“It turns out that treating people as human garbage is a really expensive way to deal with the problem,” said Anthony Aalto, who co-produced the documentary, “No Room in Paradise,” with his filmmaking partner, Mike Hinchey, and production manager Hope Duran. “It’s just not smart.”

SHOWTIMES

‘NO ROOM IN PARADISE’

>> Wednesday, 8-9:30 p.m. on KGMB

>> Oct. 30, 7-8:30 p.m on KHNL

>> Nov. 5, 8:30-10 p.m. on KGMB

>> Nov. 13, 8-9:30 p.m. on KHNL

Source: Green Island Films

“No Room in Paradise” takes an intimate look inside the lives of several homeless people, including a one-legged man who costs taxpayers thousands of dollars when he regularly calls for an ambulance to take him to the Queen’s Medical Center to get cleaned up because he’s unable to change his feces-filled diaper by himself.

The images of frightened and confused children caught up in city sweeps can be uncomfortable to watch, along with the stories of homeless women who talk of being raped and physically and emotionally abused. After filming ended, Aalto said that the two women who provide the main story line in the documentary had their children taken away by Child Welfare Services.

Justin Phillips, homeless outreach field manager for the Institute of Human Services, serves as the documentary’s narrator and protagonist, who encourages a wide range of homeless people to get the help they need at homeless shelters, only to see them turn around and return to the street.

“It’s not a pretty issue,” Aalto said. “It’s not sexy. It’s not really something people want to look at. But this is our community. We hope people will feel compelled to watch it and be educated and become engaged.”

At the same time, Aalto maintains that “No Room in Paradise” will leave viewers “with a sense of hope,” he said. “It is possible to help these people. The public should not be cynical or judgmental. Not only is that the wrong thing to do morally, it just doesn’t make fiscal sense.”

The filmmakers spent thousands of hours interviewing dozens of the key players — from Gov. David Ige and Mayor Kirk Caldwell to a homeless man who tells Phillips that he built the Vatican and invented the space shuttle and the M-4 carbine rifle.

The solutions appear simple: Build more affordable housing and make it easier for homeless people to get treatment for their problems, especially mental illness and alcohol and drug abuse. But they’re costly and take political capital that Aalto contends is lacking.

“Our elected officials know what needs to be done,” he said. “Their hearts are in the right place. They just need more public support.”

Aalto and Hinchey knew little about homelessness when Hawaii News Now General Manager Rick Blangiardi approached their Green Island Films production company in 2014 to make a documentary for sister stations KHNL and KGMB to air without commercial interruption.

“Rick Blangiardi is passionate on this issue and he’s impatient with our elected officials,” Aalto said. “I think he was hoping the film would be more critical of our elected officials. The reason it isn’t is because we came away from it convinced that our elected officials are fully aware of the issue and they are committed to doing something about it. At the end of the day we think the film is directed more at the public at large than it is at our elected officials, who need to know that the public is on their side if they want to do more.”

Blangiardi said, “We needed this to be a major wake-up call. We need to be that voice, not just for the homeless, but for everyone who’s seeing this unprecedented development all around them.”

The documentary morphed into “a compassion project,” Blangiardi said. “Clearly it’s not going to get solved at Honolulu Hale, or at the state Capitol, by themselves. We think this documentary will help propel that call to action (among citizens) to ask government to get more involved with the private sector in helping us solve this problem. … Even if we have the worst situation here per capita, we can address this in a very, very big way, certainly much bigger than we’re currently doing.”

During their two years with Oahu’s homeless, the documentary crew sometimes took days and weeks gaining their trust before turning on the camera. The filmmakers grew to consider their homeless subjects their friends.

One woman could not check into a drug treatment program because she lacked required closed-toed shoes to work in the treatment center’s kitchen. A 14-year-old boy could not go to school because he had nothing to wear on his feet.

So Aalto took them shopping.

“You can’t spend time with people like that and not act like a human being,” Aalto said.

He spent 27 years working as a journalist for The Guardian, BBC and The Economist and has no problem crossing traditional U.S. journalism lines of objectivity in the name of advocacy journalism, or what Aalto calls “campaigning journalism.”

“There is a history of campaigning filmmaking, just as there is a history of campaigning journalism,” Aalto said.

But the perspectives of the film crew evolved over the course of filming.

“We’re no different than the public at large,” Aalto said. “We didn’t know what to make of people with mental issues and drug addicts. My feeling toward a lot of the homeless was one of revulsion because they don’t live with proper sanitation. The places where they live look like shanty towns. They look like garbage. But the majority of people we encountered were above average in intelligence. It was a bias we had. ‘Why else would they be homeless and living like that?’”

But while he grew to sympathize with the homeless, Aalto also learned to appreciate the seemingly contradictory combination of sweeps and social service outreach that Caldwell calls “compassionate enforcement” or “compassionate disruption.”

The documentary cost more than $400,000 to make. Despite major contributions from HNN, the Queen’s Medical Center, Hawaii Pacific Health, Stanford Carr Development, Kyoya Hotels, Starwood Hotels, First Hawaiian Bank, Hawaiian Dredging, the Hunt Cos., Pacific Resource Partnership and Pacific Links International, the filmmakers estimate they’re still short about $200,000 in recouping their costs.

Although Aalto hopes to earn some revenue through sales of DVDs, he’s also happy to show “No Room in Paradise” for free to groups that want to learn more about homelessness.

“No Room in Paradise” debunks many of the myths that surround the homeless, such as the mistaken belief that the majority of them come from somewhere else — leading to the false hope that the easy solution is to send them back.

In fact, the documentary points out that surveys of Oahu’s 4,300 homeless population found that the last permanent address for 90 percent of them was here. It also looks at the issues of homeless Micronesians — another group that gets a disproportionate amount of blame — and the separate issues involving homeless military veterans.

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  • This movie picked not the typical homeless, it was made by liberals with an agenda from what i read. The typical homeless is an irresponsible person , drug user , felon or social parasite. There are millions of such people who would rather live in Hawaii . The movie makers have no solution for this problem. We need restriction of travel and a Hawaii residence permit issued only to those who have been here longtime and no new issues to anybody. Otherwise overpopulation will totally ruin everything, we will have lawless Favelas and loss of life quality.

      • You can start by letting a few bums live on your property. Go ahead put up a sign in your front yard that you welcome transients. Come back in a week and post your experience. haaaaa

        • Retired then why criticize Dragon. You say you have other ways, which ways and offer a solution. You are part of the problem.

        • ens623, I pay my taxes and donate to charity. How in your logical mind am I part of the problem? Do you see that what you say doesn’t make sense? It feels good to say it, though, huh? I wish you were sensible; then we could dialog. Sad.

        • RetiredWorking, I too donate to charity, and quite a bit, a few thousand every year which doesn’t even include my labor which would be worth more. Taxes are mandatory and everyone HAS to pay them so that part is moot unless you consider the government as a big charity organization. In either case, you still have not provided a viable solution other than babble nonsense like Bernie Sanders.

          1. I’ve offered the homeless actual work, which was not suprisingly turned down by them of course.
          2. I’ve also offered food directly to the homeless, which was accepted.
          3. I’ve offered cold hard cash directly to families with small children so they can buy their kids necessities, at least I hope they didn’t use it to buy crack and booze.
          4. My final recommendation of assistance is to ask our elected government to help them out and send them into $1,000 houses on the mainland so they will no longer be homeless and will be able to live in a real house rather than a tent or cardboard box.

          If you’re going to come out here criticizing others then tell us your solution other than throwing pidgin seeds at the bums then having the audacity telling everyone that paying ones taxes is the solution and calling it a day.

        • dragoninwater, when you lie about me mentioning Bernie Sanders, your credibility suffers greatly. I’m not mentioning a solution. Why should I? Your post as well as mine is going no further than this forum. I do state that I pay my taxes, which goes to help the homeless. I also donate substantially to charity. If that’s not part of the solution, you are blind.

        • dragoninwater, Is paying taxes and donating to charity nonsense? how does my paying taxes and donating to charity relate to Bernie Sanders? You are definitely off!

        • Re-read this thread. Point is, you’ve started this thread insulting everyone and then claiming you’ve supported the homeless. Well, you haven’t, you are part of the problem, just throwing a few pigeon seeds at the bums, so “your attitude is exhibited in the article’s second to the last paragraph. It’s all you. No help.”

          You do nothing but babble like the senile Bernie Sanders and provide no concrete solutions. Paying your taxes, donating used t-shirts and soiled granny panties to the Salvation Army is NOT a solution to the homelessness issue on Oahu.

    • BINGO!

      I’ve been saying for the longest time. Pack all the bums up onto a cargo ship, a Jones Act ship of course to keep the Jones Act union members from railing me, then issue out a deed to a $1,000 perfectly livable house in Detroit Michigan. Homelessness in HI will be solved for a mere $20 million. Instead, our government officials spend over $40 million a year shuffling bums around from park to park.

      • Many of you have been promulgated the myth–of should I say outright lie that the vast majority who comprise our homeless population are mainland transplants–when the reality is the vast majority are Hawaii residents. The rationale of shipping them back to where they came from in order to save taxpayers money flies completely out the window. Are you suggesting we ship them back to Waianae?

        • I never made the claim that most are non locals. I said pack ALL the bums up, which means ship them all out irrespective of their origin! I don’t care where their home used to be, what matters is that they end up IN A HOME that is affordable and realistically attainable. I hope you realize that mentally sane locals move to the mainland all the time to peruse a career and affordable housing. These homeless DON’T have a home or even a rental place to call home and likely never will. If I offered you a house in Detroit completely for free and you were homeless today, I’d really want to know what the @#$! is wrong with you mentally to reject such an offer.

          Secondly, once they manage to save enough funds on the mainland and get a career going then they should consider moving back to HI like every other non local has.

        • @dragoninwater I don’t even know why I even bother to converse with people such as yourself who make bigoted statements about others. You claim you tried assisting homeless individuals in the past, but with arrogant and condescending manner in which you speak about homeless, I doubt you lifted a finger to help them. Every single time there’s an article about the homeless, for the past three years there are those who have made comments stating that if we send homeless back to where they came from the problem would be solved. No one, I mean no one, including yourself objected to such ones spreading these outrageous myths.

        • tigerwarrior, you’re mentally ill, you keep changing the discussion in every response and turning it hostile by angering others further. You’re not helping. Many here have offered solutions and suggestions. You come in and insult everyone claiming we have no compassion. We do, but many of us have grown a hard shell to the nonsense over the years. Many of the homeless are mentally ill as yourself, drug addicts and drunks. I have yet to hear a viable suggestion from YOU to solve the issue. Maybe you’re a communist at heart where you feel we should be like North Korea or ex Soviet Russia where everyone is equal and everyone suffers equally as the filthy rich run the country. I don’t know, which part is you but I do know that you ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM since you offer NO SOLUTIONS but promote communism.

  • Now, our we going to be covering how these homeless people led their lives before they became homeless? Will we be touching on just how they burned so many family/friend bridges to explain why they have no one helping them? We we be discussing how the cumulative decisions of their yesterdays led to where they are today? How living for today won’t take care of your tomorrow? Will we be disclosing all of this to actually attack the CAUSE/PREVENTION of homelessness for today’s youth to learn from?

    • all very pertinent questions! not having seen this documentary, i don’t know if the research deals with the very root causes of this dilemma. nice to have a movie to show but to what end? personally have been trying to help one soul navigate through the maze of hurdles and red tape but to no avail. been referred, re-routed, and turned away to almost every other agency by glibly hearing that they don’t do that here instead of trying to look at the person and picking out the things that they CAN DO. each agency is about its own problem. there seems to be no overlap – however slight. finding the correct response in aid to any given problem is daunting at best. it is no wonder any un-sheltered person has given up even trying to negotiate the maze with their multiple social, economic, literal and lingual challenges. it is akin to trying to tame a large hungry, multi-headed wild animal without a tool/weapon of any sort. seemingly futile!

    • Stereotyping is wrong–even when it comes to our homeless population. Implying that they must have burned some bridges with family/friends is wrong. Here’s why: I’ve come across literally hundreds of homeless individuals over the past five years. Most of them are homeless along with their families, and their extended families, with their friends, as well as friends of friends. How do you suppose most of them can cohabit together by the hundreds in some cases, in locations such as near Kakaako Waterfront Park, Aala Park in Chinatown and along Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki near the Convention Center or along Nimitz Highway in Iwilei, as just a few examples? Many in Hawaii are a few paychecks from being homeless. If it wasn’t for family or friends taking them in, we would have tens of thousands more homeless. Unfortunately for some, like I mentioned, their circle of family and friends are in the same boat.

      • “Many in Hawaii are a few paychecks from being homeless.”

        No @#$@ sherlock. The same is true all across the entire nation. Many are in mortgages they can’t afford and will end up getting taken to the cleaners the minute the economy tanks.

        So tell us your solution rather than rail everyone here.

        Your solution is…???

        • That’s were this documentary comes in. Sentimental films can effect political change in a greater way than other forms of media be it advertising or news reports. Hopefully this film will have a profound influence on those who have the means to solve this problem. Next time I suggest you keep silent and let those in the know, in this case these filmmakers, do the talking, since you have no clue either as to how this problem can be solved.

  • Soundofsuperioritycomplex, Allaha.

    You two have clearly never been homeless.

    Which is to say, you don’t know what you’re talking about, and your talk is full of superiority and condescension. It’s truly sad.

    I suggest you follow the fine example of Hakim Ouansafi and, for once, walk a mile in the homeless folks’ shoes. You might find out something important about yourselves.

    • Life’s not fair for everyone, that’s life. I don’t have time to listen to their stories, I’m sure there might be a few innocent and unfortunate ones that fell through the cracks but they will work things out since those were accidents and they’ll be back on their feet in no time. For the rest of the 99% bums, if they would have spent as much effort working instead of babbling about how unfortunate they are it’s unlikely they would be homeless. I can give you tons of cities on the mainland where employers were FORCED to hire illegals because the bums refused to work and chose a life of getting free handouts. No excuses, none!

        • No, you’re sad. I’m perfectly happy. Go out there and help these bums get a job so they can move into livable housing rather than railing those that are fed up with hearing the same B$ stories an excuses for years. Let us know how many bums you helped this week get a job and how many took the jobs you offered them. I dare you to offer a job to a few of them and watch them scatter like cockroaches at the mere thought of actually working for a living.

        • @copperwire9 Very sad indeed! He seems to find delight in bashing the homeless and anyone who dare speak in defense of them.

  • There are shelters that have hundreds of empty beds every night. Those shelters offer a place to stay, security, cleaning facilities, food, medical and psychiatric help, and even help in getting a job. That is plenty of help and yet many of the homeless won’t go there because they can’t drink and do drugs there.

    We’ve even built homes where the homeless can stay. People say they need more “affordable housing” but, face the facts, none of the remaining homeless want to pay for housing or even have any money.

    These people say the documentary “offers possible solutions”. Well, if they have solutions, why do they have to wait for the documentary? Tell us the solutions now! Smarter people have studied this homeless problem and what we are doing is all that can be done. These movie makers think they are doing a public service – maybe, but over the last several years, most of us already know all there is to know.

    • Homeless shelters require an upfront fee than some homeless cannot afford to pay. Those who stay the night in homeless shelters receive no privacy. Homeless individuals who own pets are not allowed to bring their pets into a shelter. Neither can they bring in sizeable belongings. Some who stay in a homeless shelter get assaulted. Homeless individuals who work late at night or early in the morning, won’t be able to get in after the doors close of leave before the doors open. Then we have communicable diseases which some contract while in shelters along with being exposed to body lice and bed bugs. And here’s the rub: Even if every single homeless man, woman and child stayed the night in a shelter, during the day they will still be walking around town, hanging out in parks and beaches, sidewalks, etc. and will still be an “eyesore” for those who want them completely out of sight, out of mind.

      • I suggest that the homeless do some work during the day so they can pay the $3 a day fee. If things are not as clean as they would like, they can offer to clean and disinfect the place. If they are going to complain about privacy, pets, bringing in big bags, and communicable diseases, they should get a good job and buy their own house. Maybe you should stop with the negativity and try to accept the help that is offered and work on the other things to make life better.

        • I would ignore tigerwarrior, he’s off his rocker nuts. In other posts in this thread, he complains that corporate America, Wall-Street, etc have been shutting down homeless shelters but in the comment above he now complains that the homeless shelters are unfit for the bums! Then in other posts he hints that America should be communist like ex Soviet Russia or current North Korea because he feels we all need to be equal in wealth. haaaa You can’t have your cake and eat it too! sorry tigerwarrior, you’re plain nuts!

  • Another thing – that homeless guy they are talking to in the picture appears to be in much better physical shape than the interviewers. That homeless guy can’t get a job in the booming high paying construction industry right here in Hawaii?

    • The BUM TV network is another scam to get you to throw more money at them. You bring up valid points in both your posts. Many moons ago I offered light yard work to some healthy looking homeless. They stared at me like I was off my rocker! These bums wouldn’t work if their life depended on it. There is no hope for them other than to force them out to cheaper destinations where they have better odds of getting out of homelessness, they can start by forcing them to cheap cost of living cities like Detroit where livable homes can be bought for $1,000!!!!!

  • Rick Blangiardi’s passion about the homeless issue seems to be at odds with his news stations obsession featuring high-end realtors and bankers in Hawai’i’s real estate market. Regularly featured in news broadcasts these elite profiteers are fawned over by on-air personalities as they predict an ever increasing return on investors speculative housing purchases. There is little to no coverage concerning hard working local people struggling to pay their overinflated mortgages and rents (48% of local people are forced to rent).
    As well, there is a dearth of coverage detailing exactly how the sell-out of Hawaii’s finite land to the highest bidding off-island individuals continues unabated. How about Blangiardi and his cohorts start advocating for the ever-dwindling middle and lower class hard working local population instead of kowtowing to the developers and banks and their lucrative advertising budgets ?
    A greater good would be to encourage government mini housing for struggling locals and send the mainland transplant homeless back to where they came from.

    • Send the mainland transplants back to where they came from? Did you even read the article? 90 percent had a local address where they resided before becoming homeless. Plus we have all the homeless military veterans who happen to be in Hawaii who have fallen into homelessness. This is one of the reasons why we the general public needs to watch a documentary such as this. They continue to promulgate myths about the homeless such as: The majority of homeless are mainland transplants–which is clearly NOT the case!

      • it is stunningly obvious that you did not read nor comprehend the post. Please clear your mind and re-read the opinion. Then, if you feel the need to reply, address the core issue presented in an intelligent and non-condescending manner.

        • I don’t watch local news much, but what you’re saying makes sense. Don’t expect the stations to turn down advertising dollars for the sake of a secondary cause, or say anything that might make those advertisers look bad. It’s easier to talk out of both sides, trying to look good to everyone.

        • How am I being condescending? In order to demonstrate that you comprehended the article, you need to make yourself clear on why I didn’t, “comprehend the post.” Your ambiguous reply to my previous comment basically says nothing but claim I lack reading comprehension skills. The crux of the matter is, in relation to the post you responded to is: Do you agree or disagree that the vast majority of our homeless population are Hawaii residents?

    • Very good points. So much attention on those who chose to quit school and jobs to live off of the efforts of those who busted their butts all of their lives through school and work and more. How about giving some props for the hard working people instead of just trying to make them feel guilty?

  • Nothing will ever get changed in this land of Banana Republic…. Rich and the Shameless will do their thing, ripping off the local folks, profitting off the hard working and disappearing middle class. Housing starting at $700.000, Renting a studio cost you easy $1000.00 a month, no wonder why we have a homeless problem.
    Nothing will change… move along… nothing to see here….

  • If you want to eliminate bias with this film or new story, you should not put in a paragraph that insinuate that footwear is what stops adults from going to rehab and able bodied teenagers from going to school. It’s demeaning to them and insults the intelligence of readers and the author of this piece to think anyone believes that footwear has that much control over someone’s life decisions.

    • Ever try going on a job interview without closed-toe shoes? And if you did and for some miraculous reason still got hired–did you end up keeping a job that requires you to wear closed-toe shoes on the job despite not wearing them? Saying you did will insult any rational person’s intelligence.

      • My wife is a teacher kids are not turned away for a lack of shoes. I’m pretty sure the clearing house does not turn away people nor does the next step shelter. Donations are always pouring in.

        • Yes. The filmmakers need to tell the truth. The thing about the shoes discredits everything else that they said.

        • Speaking of shelters, I know homeless individuals who were turned away because they couldn’t afford to pay the monthly fees.

        • tigerwarrior, why didn’t they get a job to pay the fees? I offered light yard work to the homeless, not a single taker, NOT ONE! How many jobs have you offered to the lazy bums so they could pay the fee? Knowing you, probably ZERO!

  • The public is very aware of the problem. Ask any small business owner with a storefront that needs to be cleaned every morning of human waste and detritus. The politicians are also aware of the problem. But think…the $400,000+ cost of the documentary could easily have been paid by any INDIVIDUAL that heads the organizations that contributed to the documentary…what does First Hawaiian Bank pay for the electricity for a single large branch that requires 24 hour air conditioning without PV in place? The money is out there to spend towards social reform, but for what? It will do nothing for many corporations bottom line, and investors don’t want to hear about the “goodwill” their portfolio is producing. Until a drastic societal and economic change occurs, this situation of the homeless will continue.

    • In a capitalist society, there will always be those at the bottom and even more so as there is an ever increasing gap of inequality of income, wealth and political power here in the U.S.

        • tigerwarrior, you’re a shill. You have done nothing in this thread but insult and criticize those that tried to help and offered solutions. Why don’t you keep your trap shut since you have not posted a single solution to the issue other than promote this ridiculous video claiming they have the solution. Maybe you’re the producer of the video or a unionized government worker. In either case you should start by letting a few bums live on your property. Go ahead put up a sign in your front yard that you welcome transients. Come back in a week and post your experience. haaaaa

        • @dragonwarrior Just as long as our government is run by the wealthy and Wall Street corporations, there will never be a solution to poverty–thus the need for a safety net for the least fortunate among us. And that’s the heart of the problem, for since the late 1970’s there have been affordable housing cuts year-after-year, decade-after-decade, that directly correlate to the increase in homelessness across America. These drastic federal housing cuts also coincide with the opening of homeless shelters to house these homeless individuals. So no, I don’t have the power to stop homelessness in its tracks–if that’s what you’re implying.

        • tigerwarrior, you’re off your rocker nuts. Blaming corporate America, Wall-Street. etc. These BUMS REFUSE TO WORK!!! What part of refuse to work do you not understand you imbecile? The vast majority are mentally ill, drug addicts, drunks, etc. with the exception of a very few unfortunate ones.

          Secondly, your other claim that building more homeless housing is the solution, well, why don’t you tell me exactly why over 600 beds in HI lay empty on any given night at homeless shelters?

  • I find it difficult to feel compassion for them when facilities in or surrounding where they set up camp is vandaluzed, destroyed, stolen or crapped on. This is not a generalization, just ask any parks director or supervisor. Giving them money or housing will not work. It just removes any motivation that they may have as well as their sense of pride in themselves. It will also increase the problem as more people figure out that meone else will pay for their living

    • I don’t follow your logic, for some people who live in homes commit some of the most heinous crimes imaginable. Does that mean I shouldn’t feel compassion for those who live in homes because of a few bad apples?

  • “I think he was hoping the film would be more critical of our elected officials. The reason it isn’t is because we came away from it convinced that our elected officials are fully aware of the issue and they are committed to doing something about it.

    Really? AS a lifelong resident of this island I thinks it sad to think the hardworking taxpayers are somehow supposed to solve this. Most people I know barley can get by. People need to understand that NOT EVERYONE can live here, its expensive. Maybe relocate to a cheaper area of the country ?

    Good job trying to help but we all know what is going on BYUT have our own lives to take care of. Where are the family members of these people ?

    • 100% spot on for this part.. “NOT EVERYONE can live here, its expensive. Maybe relocate to a cheaper area of the country”

      Move them to the mainland! Period! Once they get some money saved up to be able to afford to live here they can fly back! This isn’t rocket science folks!

  • I am Tacoma for a few weeks, right next to Seattle and all the cities here have the same homeless problem and they came up with the same answer as Hawaii–there is no answer!!!! As in Hawaii, the rental housing rates here are out of sight and out of reach. I feel for the people who stretch their budget to survive–those are the ones who should get assistance before they become “one of them”.

  • The other Mainland States clean their homeless, purchase them a one way airplane ticket, give them enough money & directions to catch a cab to IHS from the airport—I now this for a fact. The other states know Hawaii has the best help & weather for the homeless in the nation. It’s a complete joke and we as taxpayers foot the bill. I know this as I use to eat lunch at the Korean eatery across the street from IHS until it closed down a year or so ago. The Mainland homeless brag about the scam. They get food stamps, a free cell phone to help them find a job (jk), medical and many other free services. It’s totally disgusting. I feel we should help the local families homeless first, but send the Mainland homeless back to the States from where they came from or financially charge the States from where they came from. I’m tired of paying for the Mainland homeless. Wake up Hawaii taxpayers and politicians

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