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New data shows Hawaii’s homeless population increasing

  • DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Homeless have returned to Kakaako Gateway Park. This homeless encampment is along Ilalo Street.

Hawaii’s homeless population, already the highest per capita rate in America, jumped 4 percent between January 2015 and January 2016, according to data released today.

Statewide, the numbers increased from 7,620 homeless people to 7,921, representing the fifth annual increase since 2011, according to Partners In Care and Bridging the Gap, two organizations that released the results of a nationwide survey of homeless people conducted the week of Jan. 25.

Oahu’s homeless population increased by only 1 percent — from 4,903 last year to 4,940 this year.

“We want to see the numbers go down, obviously,” said Marc Gannon, chairman of Partners In Care.

At a press conference announcing the so-called Point in Time Count data, Gannon later said positive signs contained in the data “further validates the need for continued coordiantion and collaboration across the board. … We all have the responsibility to come together and work together to address this issue.”

But Gannon was optimistic that Hawaii only saw a 4 percent increase compared to the year before, when the numbers grew by 10 percent. Between 2013 and 2014, the numbers had increased by 9 percent.

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      • The same risk applies everywhere, even in North Dakota. You MUST search and move to wherever there is a demand for your skills. If you study Finance then you move to NYC, if you study Computer Science you move to Silicon Valley, If you do nothing and want a free handout you move to Gilligan’s Island.

        • Unfortunately, Gilligan’s island is in Hawaii. At least the island they showed on the television show.

        • Just imagine the 100’s of thousands Syrian Refugees that Obama/Hillary want to let into the US will be better setup to survive in the US than our own homeless US citizen. And you wonder why our State of Hawaii and Government can’t even keep these homeless housed, the US Government can’t even support the Micronesians 100% financially but leaves it in States hands to deal with our taxpayer dollars

        • Pocho – You’re lying, of course as you always do. No one ever discussed allowing in hundreds of thousand of Syrian refugees.

          You’re a liar.

        • Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said Sunday that the United States should accept 65,000 refugees from Syria to help alleviate the humanitarian crisis created by the war there.
          That plus Obama’s 10,000 is 75,000. Some of the radicals. 100,000 is believable.

        • Yep over and over. Summertime year round where the living is easy attracts more than tourists!

      • I have a hard time even believe who are who you say you are. I have never heard of anyone getting to stay in a dorm room for 6 years. You must be getting the Indian free ride.

      • Really? You can’t get a job with a college degree? How is it you aren’t employable? you should make sure you have a way to support yourself whilst you seek the job of your dreams.

    • So this is what the mayor is bragging about? Re-elect Caldwell. Thank God the good news homelessness only went up 4%. Like thank God rail only doubled from the original projections and not tripled.

      • They stopped the free airline ticket to the mainland program since many started to game the system by buying one way tickets and letting the govt foot the bill for the return trip.

        Container/cargo ship is the most economical way to get thousands off this island. If they want to stay in Hawaii, the Big Island is a perfect location with immense amounts of free land to use. The Hawaiian Acres area grows tons of fruits year round so they can eat for little to nothing to stay well fed.

        • I don’t know what the homeless over here are eating but they sure look well fed. Most of them fat.

        • “They stopped the free airline ticket to the mainland program since many started to game the system by buying one way tickets and letting the govt foot the bill for the return trip.”

          The one way ticket program in Hawaii didn’t pass the legislature and was therefore, never implemented.

      • Most of them look like poor tourist, passby there 3 times a week for canoe practice…. See them sunning themselves. Gotta jump on that train.

    • Well the issue here is the count was done in January and the sand island project had not really started to fill up until after that so the point in time count probably does not reflect the impact of the sand island project.

  • Well this is a very comfortable place to be homeless and knowing in life economics teaches us that people will do as little as they can to meet their needs. So the more we, the taxpayers, do for them, the more we are encouraging people to choose this lifestyle.

    • Perhaps; but, with automation – robots and computers – taking over almost everything, you and I may soon find ourselves in the same situation.

      • They’ve been saying and dreaming the same thing in the 70’s and that we’ll live like the Jetsons. Reality bites sinks in that the leaders in charge can barely get a halfazzed functional choo-choo train built on Gilligan’s Island!

      • No I will not. Not with my work ethic, not with my savings, and not with my ability to adapt.
        Think of how much help we could provide them if the Leviathan didn’t steal everything we all earned in January and February.

      • Exactly! At National Parks, the park ranger even posts signs not to feed the wild animals. Apparently, our elected officials don’t read the signs and only encourage the wild people to stay rather than migrate back to the mainland where they came from. Feeding the bums is no different than feeding the wild animals and all suffer in the long run as a result

        • There are also many local people who choose to spend their money on other comfort things rather than paying rent and be thrifty. For living homeless – and no rent-paying-is made too easy by law ignoring officials. Why is not the first tent to appear been torn down immediately? Then not thousands others would follow.

    • As Hawaii taxes increase to continue pay for the train to nowhere more Hawaii people will be pushed out into the streets. Kirk, Wiliwili and Ukublubalz don’t mention that fact.

      • You forgot to mention Vector. All probably live or at least own multi-million dollar homes on the mainland paid for by Caldwell and cronies. Those guys pump the rail like those old Pink Sheet/Penny Stock boiler room brokers in the old days. I’ll start referring to them as the “Wolves of The Rusty Rail”!

    • I wonder where the count wold have been if all those vets were not housed. seems to me most of the increase came on the neighbor islands not Oahu.

  • Of course it is going to increase. When SA interviewed some homeless people, there were some people from the mainland that actually said that they are telling their friends on the mainland how good it is here.

    Keep giving to these leeches and they will multiply.

    • You are so right. Most of the homeless have done nothing but make bad choices in their lives or are on drugs. I only feel sorry for the kids and unfortunately, they may end up like their parents.

  • I said this before. There is NO end to homelessness. All a politician can do is kick the can down the road. The more you provide, the more they will come. In time it will overwhelm the tax system. Don’t feed the animals.

  • I don’t mind helping someone who is working hard, is self supporting and making the effort to better themselves. But none of these folks qualify.

  • The homeless problem is far too complex to cure. One can say it is an aggressive cancer of society. It will only get worse for Hawaii. Hawaii needs a tough leader, but the likelihood of a tough leader being voted into office to make sweeping changes in unlikely to happen. Too many bleeding hearts in Hawaii.

  • Great climate, good benefits & no hassles, wants not to like. Enforce the laws, if they are pushing a shopping cart arrest them for procession of stolen property.

    • Arresting does little good. It costs a lot of tax dollars to arrest, book, shelter and feed an inmate.

      Send them to the mainland on a cargo ship. For the price of a round trip airline ticket, you can buy a house in Detroit! YES A REAL HOUSE for around $500 – $1000. There are thousands of them on ebay and auction sites. All free and clear deeds with no tax liens. 5,000 bums x $500 houses = $2.5 million dollar one time expense. There’s no need to build anything for them here with the limited resources available compared to the mainland.

  • The homeless problem is bad all over. Been to San Francisco or LA lately? Our country is being overrun by people who want to sit around, catch some rays, catch some zzzz’s and collect their welfare check. Oh yeah, and abuse their drugs too.

    • You have to realize that Los Angeles has a population of over 10 million. The amount of homeless is minuscule in comparison when you count the percentage of homeless. Here, we’re at 4% but knowing Caldwell’s rail accounting tricks the true percentage might be closer to 10% or even 30% if you factor those in that are just one paycheck away from being homeless.

  • This is what’s happening in all liberal/progressive states that have a nice climate. You give them all the benefits and not expect anything in return- a really bad formula.
    State benefits should go to residents who have resided here for a year. Pigs will feed at the best trough available. Aloha and welcome to our Utopian paradise.

  • time to start enforcing the cofa section that allows for repatriation of some 1,200 cofa immigrants who have no means of support now living in tents in kakaako.

    cofa nations pocket u.s. treaty money while exporting their citizens to fend for themselves in hawaii or west coast states leaving more u.s. money available for cofa politicians.

  • This is NOT a phenomenon that mysteriously appears. It’s the result of policies that are clearly NOT working.

    Perhaps Marc Gannon, chairman of Partners In Care can give us a breakdown/statistic of where these people are coming from.

    Are the majority coming from the mainland, Micronesia or local citizens that have fallen on hard times ?

    What’s troubling is the city council claiming VICTORY over the homeless situation. I noticed Ka’Kaako park by UH Cancer center is filling back up with tents. River street – tent city is starting to grow.

    Laws have been passed, strict regulations have NOT been fully enforced as evidence of tents popping up in strategic areas where the police have basically given up .

    I often see 2,3,4 police vehicles parked at construction/tree-bush maintenance sites when nothing is going on. Is that an effective use of our police force?

  • I’ve seen the report, what the headline should say is homeless population relatively stable on Oahu and Maui (both at + 1% that alone is an accomplishment) and increasing on Kauai and Big Island. Eventually the report will be posted but Big Island had a double digit increase (+12%) while Kauai had a whopping 30% increase in homeless persons counted.

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