Lawmaker says more needs to be done to help homeless in Kakaako

Local News

Rep. Tom Brower has been keeping close tabs on the homeless sweeps in Kakaako.

In June, the state lawmaker was taking pictures near the Children’s Discovery Center when he was attacked.

Police later arrested a juvenile who lived in the homeless encampment.

Brower says he has mixed feelings now that the city has finished clearing the sidewalks.

“It’s maybe bittersweet for me, because on one side, anytime our government cleans the parks and sidewalks, I’m always supportive of that. But at the same time, we need to do more for the homeless,” Brower said.

The streets may be clear in Kakaako, but Brower says more work still needs to be done.

“Government needs to lead and say where people can be. Because we know where we don’t want people. We don’t want them in places of economical, cultural, aesthetic importance, so we need people to be out of Ala Moana park, out of Waikiki, out of areas of downtown. But we also as government have to be leaders and say this is where you can camp until we can provide more permanent housing,” he said.

Brower says he believes designated camp sites are the key to getting people back on their feet and off public land.

For now, the state continues its outreach in Kakaako. Some of the homeless have pitched tents in Kakaako Waterfront Park.

Brower says it’s not a surprise.

“What did you expect? Of course the people move there, because this is how it always works, and we’ve known this for years,” he said. “This is why government must take more of a lead and say this is where people can go.”

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