POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Jul 18, 2010
LAST UPDATED: 01:53 a.m. HST, Jul 18, 2010
The homeless problem as covered in recent Star-Advertiser stories touched a nerve, generating hundreds of comments and ideas online. Following are some that indicate the level of interest and discussion as decision-makers move forward:
It's in all of Hawaii's best interest to take care of the homeless, but how about provide them shelter and in return have them do something for the public like cleaning graffiti or picking up rubbish? Sort of paying "rent" for the temporary roof over their head. Taxpayers are happy and so are the homeless. It would be a win/win situation.
I say, first send the ones that are not from here ... home ... back to whichever state or place they came from in the first place on that one-way ticket to Hawaii. These states figure if they send them here, then it's not their problem, that's because it becomes ours ...
I'm doing my part at this time ... donating to the shelters, clothes, and household things, plus last December I found a young woman who was sleeping in the park, and ended up bringing her home to my place ... and she's still staying with me. She's found work here and there to help contribute to the house, and hopefully will be back on her feet soon.
There were numerous articles about the homeless in the newspapers about these shelters and many initially went there but because of restrictive rules, they left. However, many people go there for the food and bath facilities but do not actually live there.
I wonder if you saw the news (recently) , ranking Honolulu as the No. 1 livable city in the U.S., and 34th in the world. Fact is the homeless situation is a city as well as state problem, and needs to be addressed on all levels, not just one office.
It seems to me that if an area with facilities could be provided, these homeless would be happy to camp there, be left alone and not bother anyone. They are not the problem.
The problem lies within the thousands who are on state welfare and social programs that cost the taxpayers millions each year. We all know people who exist this way and laugh and brag about how they don't have to work because they conned the system.
As much emphasis politicians and the media spend on the homeless, it's the abusers of our state welfare system that needs attention and correction.
The state is understaffed and underfunded in this area, but issue out millions each month that go unchecked.
City Parks Director Lester Chang said most of the Leeward Coast parks have been cleared of homeless camps. Notice that the city CLEARS the parks, not offers alternatives.
Perhaps everyone who has a campaign headquarters could house a homeless family?
How many came here for the weather? How many came because it's easy to get welfare assistance and stay on it for an extended period of time? How many are on the welfare payroll who are able to work, but refuse to because of laziness or it may interfere with their drug or alcohol abuse? How many just don't want any assistance at all and want to be left alone?
These low-income housing projects should be transitional housing projects, not a lifelong lease to not advance yourself.
The most compassionate action required is put the drug abusers in jail to clean up. Institutionalize the mentally handicapped, and make the lazy ones get a job. Have programs that help those willing to help themselves, and for those who choose to live that life don't help them.
I disagree with you on criminalizing drug users, especially first-timers. I would not put them in jail, rather in therapy, but bust the dealers and suppliers really hard.
We have a better society because we do care for the homeless and disabled. Just imagine how many people would now be homeless in America if we ended Social Security, Medicare and disability programs. That is what the greedy want, but it would still be a major step backward for American society. Sure, nobody wants to see able-bodied people hanging around the parks panhandling, but how would you like to see your grandmother in the same boat?
I guess if you are going to be homeless, California and Hawaii are the perfect places to live. I can't help but wonder if the acceptance of the homeless hasn't led to more children living a life they shouldn't have to, due to the possible drug use of the parents. Not all homeless persons are benign, down on their luck people; some are mentally ill, some are heavy drug users, some are predators. If children are involved, they need to be protected, but not the way social services have "protected" children in the inner cities, not by giving welfare to the parents ... that will just perpetuate the cycle. It will be interesting to see how Hawaii handles this situation.
I hate the way the media is portraying the homeless issue in our country as a criminal issue.
Most homeless are NOT criminals and are trying to get their lives back in order, but few realize how difficult it can be when you're in that situation.
I know how hard it can be, since I am homeless myself. For almost two years I've been living in my car after a job loss and almost a year of underemployment.
Now, I have a full-time job and STILL can't get an apartment since I have no recent rental history! ... The problem with being homeless is not a criminal one so moving them from place to place won't solve anything; the issue will just get worse.
Going to school right next to a homeless camp would probably be pretty motivational for both the teachers and the students. So close to home, it's alarming and wakes you to the fact that poverty is a very real possibility and a potential threat.
Obviously these people get by and most may be happy this way. If you want to discourage homelessness, do not support it with social welfare. Maybe Hawaii should tax homelessness with work for the "greater good."