Homeless evicted from historic Hawaiian site, city fails to house homeless veterans

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs announced that it is evicting “illegal campers” from the area around the historic Royal Birthing Stones near Wahiawa.  OHA said it and social service providers “have reached out to those illegally camping on its property numerous times over the past two years to offer assistance.”  It’s not exactly clear whether that “assistance” included actual housing.  OHA emphasizes that housing is one of its “Determinants of Health,” and it sure is hard to argue with that.  The agency provides various housing assistance grants and has made “a 30 year commitment to provide $3 million annually to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to help build affordable housing for Hawaiians.”

Meanwhile, the newspaper reported today that Honolulu has failed to meet the “Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness.”  That’s because hundreds of veterans remain homeless on Oahu and “it takes an average of 235 days between the time a homeless veteran is identified on Oahu and ends up in long-term housing,” according to the paper.

It seems that homeless veterans have access to federal housing vouchers that would pay their rent, but not enough landlords are willing to accept the vouchers.  In this red-hot housing market, it’s not hard to imagine why landlords would opt for cash from renters who are already housed.  But that doesn’t solve the problem.

Catholic Charities Hawaii has organized a conference on the subject, the paper reported.  The agency provides various forms of assistance to homeless people, including veterans.

I sure hope they can assist this person who was up to no good outside Our Lady of Peace cathedral, the oldest Catholic cathedral in continuous use in the United States and one of the oldest existing buildings in the downtown Honolulu area.

Cathedral

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