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City workers clearing out homeless camp in Kalihi

<i></i><br/>A homeless encampment near the Kalihi Transit Center will soon be removed as city crews work to clear out the area. Residents have been complaining about the village along Kalihi Stream that is half-hidden by a bridge on Kamehameha Highway.
Lawrence, Nakia

A homeless encampment near the Kalihi Transit Center will soon be removed as city crews work to clear out the area. Residents have been complaining about the village along Kalihi Stream that is half-hidden by a bridge on Kamehameha Highway.

By ‘A’ali’i Dukelow

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    HONOLULU (KITV) — A homeless encampment near the Kalihi Transit Center will soon be removed as city crews work to clear out the area this week.

Some have been complaining about the village along Kalihi Stream that is half-hidden by a bridge on Kamehameha Highway.

Before the clean-up started Tuesday, city outreach personnel have been offering services to the people who lived at the camp for a week. Additionally, a city service provider has been visiting the site every Monday to check on those living there.

“I feel sad because those people that’s staying over there, they no more place to live,” said Norma Woody, who catches the bus from the transit center to get to work.

Because they do not have a permanent place to stay, some of the people who stay at the encampment said they often return after the city clears out the area. In the meantime, some of them said they’ll stay on the sidewalk along Kamehameha Highway, feet away from the former camp.

Ian Scheuring, deputy communications director for Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi, said housing homeless individuals can be challenging because while some are open to temporary housing, others may not want to leave because they have friends or pets in the encampments.

“That really underscores the complexity of trying to provide options for homeless individuals in terms of housing: Where can people go? Where can they get services? It’s not always a square hole that fits into a square peg or a square box, right,” Scheuring added.

Former camp residents were notified of the stored property ordinance enforcement 24 hours ahead of time — and some called the outreach workers helpful.

“You hear the mayor say it time and time again, ‘the street is not a place for anyone,'” Scheuring said. “It’s not a place for individuals, it’s not a place for children, it’s not a home for a families. We need to get these people off of the streets.”

Work on the encampment is expected to take a few more days. Belongings will be stored for up to 45 days for the owners to claim.

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