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More homeless from Mother Waldron Park move into shelters

  • Dan Nakaso

    The city of Honolulu will close Mother Waldron Park for the second time in six months for maintenance work.


    City officials issued a statement, May 26, announcing the closing of Mother Waldron Neighborhood Park to all occupants for maintenance, affecting the current homeless population that had recently moved there from a sweep in early May of Kakaako Waterfront Park.

The city, state and social service outreach workers from Kalihi-Palama Health Care have encouraged another 11 homeless people who had been living in and around Mother Waldron Neighborhood Park in Kakaako to move into shelters.

That means that 17 homeless people since Friday have now agreed to move off the streets and into shelters, where they can get help for their issues.

The latest numbers are encouraging for a hardcore group of chronically homeless people who for years have been shuttling back and forth between the city’s Mother Waldron Park and the state’s Kakaako Waterfront Park and its sister parks that are separated by Ala Moana Boulevard.

After the homeless population around Mother Waldron swelled to about 40 or so people and their dogs, tents and tarps, the city shut down the park on Tuesday for six weeks of maintenance. It’s scheduled to reopen on July 6.

This morning, homeless belongings and trash remained inside Mother Waldron, which is now encircled in orange mesh fencing and is off limits.

People and their belongings and dogs instead were occupying the Diamond Head side of Cooke Street in front of ABC Stores’ corporate office and in front of the nearby BJ Penn UFC Gym on Pohukaina Street down to Keawe Street.

On Friday, five people who had been living in the area agreed to move into the city’s Hale Mauliola homeless navigation center on Sand Island, which accepts pets. Another person from Mother Waldron agreed to move into the Waianae Civic Center homeless shelter, said Scott Morishige, the state’s homeless coordinator.

Then on Tuesday, seven more people moved into Hale Mauliola: One went into Waikiki Health’s Next Step Shelter down South Street; and three moved into the Institute for Human Service’s women’s shelter in Iwilei, said city spokesman Andrew Pereira.

“This population is extremely service-resistant,” Pereira said.

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