Homeless shelter NIMBYs have a point

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Most reasonable people sincerely hope that, if the City and County of Honolulu is really going to launch a new state-of-the-art homeless hygiene and assistance center in Iwilei, the scheme is going to work.

Some neighbors have their doubts, and I really don’t blame them.  The city has done an absolutely terrible job of managing conditions around the Institute for Human Services shelter that is just around the corner from the planned new site.  In fact, conditions are probably worse now than they’ve ever been in thirty years that the IHS shelter has been in operation.

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The people who run the shelter can only do so much.  Policing the surrounding area is really up to the city, and the city has failed.  Miserably.  Sidewalks totally blocked day in and day out, no regard for anyone else.  And then there’s the urine, feces, drugs, trash, etc. etc. etc.

That’s got to change if the new facility is going to work.  Otherwise, upset neighbors are quite justified in worrying that the plan will just make Iwilei even more of a dumping ground for some of the most difficult and belligerent street dwellers.

And residents and businesses in other neighborhoods will have good reason to oppose efforts to open other facilities in their backyards.

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