The lack of progress in decreasing the housing crisis requires some fresh thinking and innovative solutions. Wonderful shelters like the Institute for Human Services and Family Promise are, admittedly, temporary, while government programs have limited funds and daunting restrictions.
However, there is great potential in a local home-sharing program offered by the nonprofit HIN (Hawaii Intergenerational Network).
It addresses two community concerns: kupuna who are living alone and people who need affordable housing. Carefully matching people within these two groups and professionally monitoring each relationship, this project offers hope to those who are houseless and to kupuna who are living in vulnerable isolation.
More information can be found at homesharinghawaii.org.
As long as the economic gap between wages and housing costs continues, housing will be unaffordable for most Americans and houselessness an unjustifiable concern; when the basic needs of a community become a for-profit business (shelter, health, education), the quality of life for 99% of us decreases.
Carbone makes sense on handling COVID-19
Thank you for the commentary by Dr. Michele Carbone (“60,000 coronavirus tests. Then what?” Star-Advertiser, Sept. 2).
Why aren’t our elected officials listening to and implementing the approaches mentioned in the commentary? After all, Carbone “writes on the topic in the top medical journals” as well as “teaching this issue nationally and internationally.”
Then again, Carbone also said we don’t need medical degrees to figure out how to deal with COVID-19; it just takes common sense, which seems to be in short supply these days.
Instead, many in Hawaii (officials and residents alike) appear to be using fear, shame and blame tactics in an effort to control the virus and the masses. That approach hasn’t worked, so why not do what does work?
Isolate the sick in hotels; wear masks in enclosed environments and open up the great outdoors. The health of our citizens and our economy is at stake here.
Make data-driven decisions to reopen
Our leaders claim to be making data-driven decisions on what to close to stop COVID-19. Well, they can also use data-driven decisions to lift those closures that have had no effect on the cases.
The interisland quarantine began Aug. 4 and the closing of beaches and parks began Aug. 7. The limitation of gatherings to five people or fewer was Aug. 20, and the stay at home/work from home order was Aug. 27.
None of these has had any effect on the number of daily cases. So that means that these are not the sources for the spread — it’s something else.
Reopen those areas that you have now demonstrated are not the cause of the spread. Please!
True infection rates were underestimated
I believe that due to the limitations put on the early testing, the numbers we were seeing were nothing to be proud of. We had such small numbers tested that the results far underestimated the true infection rates of the coronavirus outbreak.
Now that we are seeing vastly higher numbers of testing, we are seeing a truer rate of infection. Nevertheless, I still believe we are not getting the accurate rate of infection as long as there are asymptomatic people in the community still spreading the disease.
Billions for weapons, but not for the hungry
It is very comforting that there is “missile power” but not enough money to feed our citizens (“A pared-down RIMPAC ends with missile muscle flexing,” Star-Advertiser, Sept. 1).
The totally wasted money on the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercises and the military in general is unbelievable. Who is supplying all this money in this country with its hunger for military spending? How many politicians are fattening their wallets with it?
Besides this waste, there are many things for which these greedy powers use our tax dollars, instead of bringing the infrastructure into the 21st century. Millions are without health insurance. They lose their homes because they cannot pay the rent and cannot even get medical care unless they pay up front.
Where are all those millionaires and billionaires who did not make their money by working but playing the stock market, which is the devil in disguise?
Make sure you vote in the November election
Although I won’t be of age to vote in the upcoming election, I urge anyone of age to register to vote. Voting is one of the ways we as citizens exercise our collective power and advocate for policies we want to see passed. 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in America. In an age where we won’t be jailed for casting a vote, and given the political unrest of our time, please vote to make your voice heard.
Voter apathy is especially strong in Hawaii. In 1959, 93% of people voted in the general election, but in 2018, only 52% voted. Now is the time to be informed, take a stance and make a change.
There are definitely problems with the Electoral College, particularly with faithless electors, but voting is still a way for people to participate in our government. I wish I could vote in the upcoming election.
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