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City sweeps homeless from Kakaako sidewalks

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State homeless coordinator Scott Morishige, left, Mayor Kirk Caldwell and Hawaii Community Development Authority spokesman Garett Kamemoto, in black, were in Kakaako during the homeless sweep in the area this morning.

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City workers removed items left on a sidewalk in Kakaako during a homeless sweep this morning.

City crews accompanied by police arrived at Kakaako this morning to clear sidewalks near the Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center dotted with tents and tarps in the wake of Sunday night’s state sweep of three nearby parks.

More than a dozen homeless people on Ohe and Olomehani streets gathered their belongings and broke down their tents before a city crew began to clear the sidewalks of items left behind.

At the site today, Mayor Kirk Caldwell said, “We’re not going to allow this to continue.”

He said enforcement will continue in the area to keep the sidewalks clear of encampments.

The enforcement comes after the state cleared Kakaako Waterfront, Gateway and Kewalo Basin parks Sunday night. The Hawaii Community Development Authority closed the parks indefinitely, citing safety concerns following reports of dog attacks, fires and vandalism.

Deputy sheriffs cleared fewer than 100 homeless people from the parks Sunday night and “no trespassing” signs were posted.

Amber Coiley, who has been living at Kakaako Waterfront Park for two years, said she is waiting for a call back from a shelter. Meanwhile, she said, “I don’t know where we’re going.”

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