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More homeless from Mother Waldron now in shelters


    Seventeen homeless people have agreed since Friday to move from Mother Waldron Neighborhood Park into shelters. The park was closed starting Tuesday for maintenance. John Mantanona peered out of his tent, which was across from the park on Saturday.

The city, state and social service outreach workers from Kalihi-Palama Health Care have encouraged an additional 11 homeless people 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, including its sister parks that are separated by Ala Moana Boulevard.

After the homeless population around Mother Waldron swelled to about 40 or so, plus 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.

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

People, their dogs and their belongings instead were occupying the Diamond Head side of Cooke Street, in front of ABC Stores’ corporate office and 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 from Mother Waldron had 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; and three moved into the Institute for Human Services’ women’s shelter in Iwilei, said city spokesman Andrew Pereira.

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

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