Squatters have seized control of Kakaako parks as the state bungles a plan to open a new shelter nearby and now seems to be using that as an excuse to do nothing.
More than six months after the governor announced that the state would swiftly convert an old maintenance shed in Kakaako into a new shelter for the crowd of homeless people who had erected a sprawling shantytown that surrounded the Children’s Discovery Center, the shelter plan is stalled, no work is being performed, and the situation in nearby parks continues to deteriorate, in part because the shantytown was finally demolished when problems spiraled out of control.
Officials can’t even say whether they will continue to pursue the plan at all. It seems that nobody is in charge, nobody knows what’s going on, and nothing is getting done.
Meanwhile, the shed just sits there empty, not even used for maintenance.
The plan always seemed a little strange, since the island’s largest homeless shelter is located in part of a warehouse very nearby and is not always full, and there is already lots of space available in the city’s new shelter on Sand Island.
Regardless of the ultimate outcome of the shelter plan, would it be too much to ask for the state to at least keep the shed’s rubbish area tidy and perhaps repair the massive pothole that greets visitors to the parking lot of Kakaako Waterfront Park?