The appalling squalor on the traffic island at the corner of Ala Moana and Atkinson amid a backdrop of luxury shopping is fast becoming a sordid metaphor for the mind-boggling neglect and failure of authorities to effectively address this island’s worsening homelessness crisis.
Welcome to Vagrant Island.
A couple of filthy denizens have effectively colonized the traffic island and erected a grubby shelter and amassed piles of junk while authorities sit on their collective thumbs and concoct excuses for failing to do much of anything. I stopped by the other day but the two inhabitants were too busy smoking pakalolo to discuss their plight.
The “Kokua Line” column in the newspaper questioned this absurd situation the other day after receiving numerous inquiries but received typical hand-wringing official responses and excuses: “It is critical to note that the state’s approach to homelessness is rooted in treating people with dignity.”
That’s all fine and dandy but allowing vagrants to take over public property and live in danger and filth that they force the rest of the public to endure is not treating anyone with dignity.
“Outreach workers have identified a unique set of needs facing the people there (on the island), including significant health issues. We are working closely with multiple agencies to transition people to shelter or permanent housing.”
Well, you spineless idiots are not working fast enough because that mess has been there for months. How about taking the obvious step and informing the squatters that their pile of crap is unsafe and intolerable and that they must move it immediately.
If authorities really can’t offer any alternative housing situation whatsoever after all this time, then this island is in far worse shape than I ever imagined.