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Outreach gets 22 more homeless people into shelters

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  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    On the makai side of Aala Park on King St., a homeless tent.

Twenty-two homeless people — from River Street in Chinatown to McCully’s Pawaa In-Ha Park — moved into shelters Wednesday night, along with an additional individual who agreed to go into detox.

The monthly “evening outreach” conducted by state and city officials, social service outreach workers and Honolulu Police Department officers began in April and so far has gotten 80 homeless people off the streets.

Last month 17 people agreed to move into shelters, and one was hospitalized at The Queen’s Medical Center. But Wednesday’s outreach set a record high for the amount of people moved off the streets during an outreach event, said Marc Alexander, executive director of the city’s Office of Housing, who used a city van to drive some of the homeless people to the city’s Hale Mauliola “navigation center” on Sand Island.

In all, according to information from Kalihi-Palama Health Center, 11 people were placed at Hale Mauliola.

An individual from Thomas Square and another from Pawaa In-Ha Park were placed at Next Step Shelter in Kakaako.

Nine individuals were driven to the Waianae Civic Center shelter.

The last person — from Cartwright Park — agreed to go into detox.

Wednesday’s outreach brought together HPD’s HELP Honolulu Project, the Hawaii Health and Harm Reduction Center, the Institute for Human Services, the Kalihi- Palama Health Center, Mental Health Kokua, the Salvation Army, the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii and others.

The homeless people were driven to the shelters of their choice, Alexander said.

“Some of them are insightful enough to know they need a change in atmosphere,” Alexander said. “Some of them actually explicitly say, ‘Hey, I want to change where I’m going, and I need to change the people I’m hanging with.’”

The outreach to Pawaa In-Ha Park came just ahead of the park’s planned closure for seven weeks of maintenance — scheduled to last from today to Aug. 31.

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