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9 homeless people get shelter as DOT sweeps continue along Nimitz, H-1


    State Department of Transportation crews removed remnants of homeless encampments Tuesday morning near the foot of the Pali Highway.

The state Department of Transportation today continues to sweep portions of the H-1 Freeway and Nimitz Highway today and, so far, eight homeless people have left their encampments for the Next Step shelter and one went into permanent housing through the city’s Housing First program.

A DOT sub-contractor clean-up crew, backed by state sheriff’s deputies, will continue the sweeps today “to make sure the areas remain clear,” Scott Morishige, the state’s homeless coordinator told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

In a statement, Morishige said, “We are working closely with homeless service providers and are happy to see these individuals being transitioned into long-term, stable shelter. Our goal is to connect homeless individuals with services and permanent housing rather than simply displacing them from one area to another.”

More than 80 people were estimated last week to be living in the targeted areas on Nimitz Highway from River Street to the Pearl Harbor interchange; and the H-1 freeway from Middle Street to Kahala.

Of the nine people who went into shelters or permanent housing, eight were placed at the Next Step shelter in Kakaako, and one woman has been placed into permanent housing through the city’s Housing First program administered by U.S. Vets, Morishige said.

The woman was assessed by outreach workers from Kalihi-Palama Health Center and The CHOW Project, and in one day she received a housing voucher and signed a rental lease for a housing unit, Morishige said.

The sweeps are funded by $2 million from the Legislature and $2 million in DOT money.

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