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Authorities conduct homeless sweep at Kewalo Basin Park

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    State officials initiated a sweep of the homeless encampment at Kewalo Basin Park 2 a.m. today. Johnny Kaawa and his girlfriend Samantha Rodrigues, 19, sat on their moped and trailer with their belongings on the corner of Kewalo Basin next to Ala Moana Beach Park as the sun rose this morning. Rodrigues said she’s been homeless since she was 11.

The state initiated a sweep of Kewalo Basin Park early today to enforce park closure hours.

The sweep started at approximately 2 a.m. Officials from the Institute for Human Services and the Kalihi Palama Health Center were on site to assist the homeless.

It’s unclear how many homeless people were at Kewalo at the time of the sweep.

State Homeless Coordinator Scott Morishige, who was at park early this morning, said they have partnered with the city to provide buses for individuals interested in going to a shelter.

Only one individual pursued that option, said Morishige. The individual was transported to a shelter at the Institute for Human Services and enrolled in the state Housing First program.

“At the end of the day, our ultimate goal is really to get individuals off the street and into permanent housing,” he said.

The park closure hours at Kewalo Basin are from 10 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. daily.

Morishige noted many items left behind by the homeless were picked up by a private contractor and stored at an offsite warehouse.

Of the sweep, 19-year-old Samantha Rodrigues who has been living at the park for nine months said, “This is just ridiculous.”

A woman who declined to give her name was tearful and frustrated by the enforcement. “Fo’ real, where the (expletive) are we going to go?”

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  • I go diving out of Kewalo Basin quite a bit. My experiences with the homeless people living there have been very positive. They have always been polite and I’ve never been given cause to worry about my car or personal possessions. I guess I’m kind of sorry to see them “swept.”

    • I didn’t read anything about ADVANCE NOTICE, and at 2AM–when they were awakened they were probably startled and overcome with fear. How many rational decision would you make when hostily and alarmingly awakened at 2AM? Apparently, most of these persons left behind their personal belongings. Doesn’t sound to me like these Homeless persons were coherent. Why 2AM? Why not 10PM? Yes, the park closure hours are posted; and, the alleged “Authorities(sounds Gestapo to me)” could have waited. Why not have the “Authorities” waiting at the entrances and walking around with megaphones–warning all that within a few minutes they will be removed? How many were Kapuna and Keiki? We condemn the actions of the likes of “Isis”, et al and yet we support and employ the same tactics(?)… MERRY CHIRSTMAS..; (no wonder he’s not coming back).

  • A woman who declined to give her name was tearful and frustrated by the enforcement. “Fo’ real, where the (expletive) are we going to go?” Umm….oh I don’t know, maybe to the shelter?

    • Sorry girlie. Get your act together. You’re 19. Get a job or go to school to better yourself. There has been many like yourself who became successful from a homeless situation but they have one thing you don’t. Perseverance. Will. Strength of spirit and heart. Help is all around you. Open your eyes and pick yourself off of the ground. Stop pitying yourself.

  • Where will these people camp out next? I see their trashed sites all over the City. One or more had actually set up their tents on our private property. I know they want a place to live and construct their elaborate camps/tents but why do they think they can camp any where they want?

  • Why doesn’t the State or City set aside some site they can camp instead of building and staffing elaborate structures for them and taking forever because of the bureaucratic morass.

  • If you break the law you should suffer the consequences. They had an alternative – get on the bus. Guess most of them do not want to go to a shelter where they can not drug and drink anytime they want.

  • The sweep was necessary however I do not like the fact that it was done at 2:00 am. It should have been done at maybe 6:00 am instead and the people given
    time to gather whatever stuff they wanted/needed to take with them. Conducting the sweep at 2:00 am is just mean. These people need to be treated humanely.
    They are not animals.

    • At first I thought the same thing. But 2:00 am does make sense. Maybe that’s when most of them are actually there and awake. And if they are sleeping, so what? Knowing this may happen again is just one more good reason to stay in a shelter or find another lifestyle.

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