• Monday, September 24, 2018
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City clears out 5 tons of trash during sweep of Kakaako parks

  • GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Homeless on Ilalo Street in Kakaako quickly gathered their belongings Monday night as city and county crews approached for a sweep of the area. A family of four swept out of Kakaako during the city’s unprecedented sweep of the state-owned parks Monday night moved into the adjacent Family Assessment Center and two single adults went into the nearby Next Step Shelter, said Scott Morishige, the state’s homeless coordinator.

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A family of four swept out of Kakaako during the city’s unprecedented sweep of the state-owned parks Monday night moved into the adjacent Family Assessment Center and two single adults went into the nearby Next Step Shelter, said Scott Morishige, the state’s homeless coordinator.

At the same time, a special city clean-up crew filled 11 bins of personal items that will be stored for their owners to claim them; and cleared out 5.12 tons of trash, 8 cubic yards of metals and eight shopping carts, according to city spokesman Alexander Zannes.

>> [PHOTO GALLERY] City clears Kakaako parks

The estimated 80 homeless people living in Kakaako Waterfront Park and its sister parks had dwindled to about 30 to 50 Monday afternoon following days of warnings about the impending sweep.

The outreach to get six people off the street and into shelters was led by social workers from Kalihi-Palama Health Center, Morishige said.

It was unclear where the others spent the night.

The sweep was the first for the city in the nearly 30-year history of the state-owned parks and was the result of the Hawaii Community Development Authority granting Honolulu police and a special city clean-up crew “right of entry” into the parks, which are surrounded by city sidewalks.

State Department of Transportation officials were on hand to ensure that homeless people swept by the city did not migrate to nearby Ala Moana Boulevard, which is owned by the state and lines Kakaako Makai Gateway Park, Morishige said.

Monday night’s sweep represented a new strategy after multi-jurisdictional land ownership helped spur the growth of one of America’s largest homeless encampments in the summer of 2015 when it swelled to more than 300 people and led to a spike in crimes, emergency calls and sanitation problems.

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