OHA to oust last of homeless camped by cultural landmark
Hawaii News

OHA to oust last of homeless camped by cultural landmark

  • COURTESY OHA

    Office of Hawaiian Affairs officials cited health and safety concerns at homeless campsites on their property in Wahiawa.

  • COURTESY OHA

    Office of Hawaiian Affairs officials cited health and safety concerns at homeless campsites on their property in Wahiawa.

The state Office of Hawaiian Affairs plans next week to sweep the last remnants of a homeless encampment from the agency’s property in Wahiawa near some historic birthing stones.

Social service outreach workers had recently counted as many as 17 encampments in an overgrown area on 511 acres of OHA property, said OHA spokesman Garett Kamemoto. But this week only five people remained, he said.

Outreach teams from Kalihi-Palama Health Center and the Institute for Human Services encouraged homeless people in the area to move out and seek assistance, Kamemoto said.

Landscaping crews cut the grass near the culturally significant birthing stones, where royal babies were born.

On Wednesday crews will move into a denser area where the remaining homeless people have been camping out. Outreach workers will offer transportation to shelters and other assistance and state sheriff’s deputies will enforce trespassing violations, Kamemoto said.

“There’s a lot of trash dumped there and we’re going to go in and clean it up,” he said. “Then we’ll clear the area so you can see inside and people can’t hide.”

The encampment is hardly the biggest in Wahiawa. Larger encampments are located around Lake Wilson and on nearby government and private property.

Regarding its property, OHA said in a statement: “OHA believes this is a health and safety issue with hazardous conditions at the site and reports of illegal activity. OHA and social service providers have reached out to those illegally camping on its property numerous times over the past two years to offer assistance. OHA provided official notice to those camping on the property last week. A second notice was given (Wednesday) and additional notices will be given next week prior to the enforcement action.”

OHA said that “security patrols will monitor the site to ensure the property remains clear.”

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  • There are homeless trespassing, squatting and trashing the valleys, hills and wooded areas all over the island. Others have to clean up the mess. Human feces contaminate our streams. This problem has grown as a result of homeless camping restrictions on urban areas. It is less visible.

    Why hasn’t the SA investigated this and called for better monitoring and enforcement of laws against this huge problem?

    Why has the paper instead spent two years bashing the Kunia Loa Ridge farmers for sleeping/camping/dwelling on their own land and demanding enforcement?

    • Often it seems this newspaper fails to keep things in perspective. Like many other media organizations, it becomes obsessed with isolated problems that more easily gain our attention (or are more easily covered) while ignoring large, complex, pervasive problems that are pose greater harm to our community. The result is that our officials are pressured to reactively focus on little isolated situations (and brag about their successes), and are less likely to tackle the main problems.

    • OHA, which racially discriminates, is a non-profit that receives millions is forced “donations” from the public. Why don’t they build shelters and help find a solution rather than throwing out the Hawaiians and others who live there? Lousy organ ization.

      • OHA has helped thousands of Hawaiians. Annie we need money from The Native American Nation because Hawaii homeless are some Indians and lots of vets. Veterans Admin, where are you?

  • Ironically, the homeless of the 1960s & 1970s (my observations), had a better sense of class.

    Makua beach was an example. It was one of the cleanest beaches, during that era. The homeless people thoroughly cleaned that beach daily. They did make the mistake, of building small wooden structures (that were actually built quite well).

    They could not be found during daylight hours, because they were working. Their children, were going to school. They were dressed well. They rode decent cars.

    What made the homeless people different for that era, was that they recognized that their situation was temporary.

    They were living by each paycheck. They financially collapsed when unexpected or unanticipated bills forced them into the street. They were not evicted.

    They bought decent cars so that they wouldn’t have car troubles. Their kids went to good schools, because they were using extended family addresses. They wore good clothes and washed them, so that people didn’t know they were homeless.

    There were even 2 UH School of Law students (before it was called William Richardson School of Law), who were homeless. They chose to pay their tuition & books, than their rent. They were not evicted.

    The homeless of the past, had better class.

  • They treat the homeless just like a rat or cockroach infestation. They should have an exterminator go in every three months and spray noxious but non deadly poisons. I doubt they will move so what are you going to do?

  • The photo speaks volume on how such accommodations can only negatively affect any child growing up in pig sty environment. Future adults emerging from such environment certainly will not contribute positively but rather the opposite. The problem is how can they be better encouraged to move to clean shelters?? The $64’s question?

  • “OHA said that “security patrols will monitor the site to ensure the property remains clear.”….every 3-4 years whether it needs it or not.

    Would like to hear them commit to the frequency of such monitoring. But that would hold them accountable to something and we can’t have that.

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