The Problem of Homelessness in Hawaii

5 pages
1139 words
George Washington University
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Research paper
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The problem of homelessness experienced in Hawaii has diverse problems not only to the homeless people themselves but also to the tourists in this place as well as on the government. Most of the times are when the tourists have complained of harassment from these homeless, poor and sad people who are living in ratty tents on the streets and the beaches. A quarter of the income tax for the Hawaii comes from the tourist who comes to see the blue ocean and enjoy the cool climate while on the beaches. Hence an increase in the number of the street families scares the tourists away, negatively affecting the income taxes which are gained by the local government of Hawaii.

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Some of the street people end up robbing the tourists of their valuables, creating a nonconducive environment for everyone touring this region. Local business people in this region are also not safe. These homeless people do not have enough cash to cater for their basic needs like food and other essentials, and for that reason, they would go to all extents and extremes to make sure that they get these basic needs even if it means robbing the business people and breaking into their businesses. This violent behavior thus affects the local peace status in Hawaii, and the government is forced to drain too many resources in security matters so as to protect the local people as well as the tourists.

Efforts and Interventions to Solve Homelessness

The homelessness issue in Hawaii is a matter that needs to be addressed, given much attention and the necessary measures to curb the situation put in place since ignoring it by the government and the concerned parties will be worsening the situation, not only for the local people and tourists but also for the whole government now and in the future. The government has been on the front line in facing this problem by use of all the means possible. One strategy being applied by the Hawaiian government is literally flying people out of Hawaii and taking them back to their native homes. The government has used the money contributed by individuals through taxes to fly these homeless people back to places they came from, and once gone they are not allowed back on the island again.

The government workers go out looking for those people who wonder in the streets and get them into the system for deportation although they have been facing resistance from the people who want to stay in Hawaii and complicate the situation. The government works are going ahead and forcibly clearing the large camps in the sidewalks and parks, as well as heavily guarding these areas so deter these homeless people from pitching their tents on these areas again. The government representatives fight these people in the homeless crackdown, especially those who prove to be hooligans and drug abusers (What is the City doing to help? 2016). The government also plans on housing more of the homeless people and this translates to increasing the social service savings so as to be able to achieve this. Also in the government plan is the idea of subsidizing the housing for the homeless people who have a job.

Although these two plans are potentially practical and can bring a great impact in combating the problem of homelessness, they are quite expensive exercises and are going to take the government a lot of time and resources before it is implemented. The current plan that the government plans on implementing first is by relocating and sticking these homeless people to an island of their own, the Sand Island, where they will be less of a nuisance to the public (What is the City doing to help? 2016). This is an effort by the Aloha United Way, which is a government agency using social workers like engineers to construct the houses to be for the homeless people.

Another effort to resolve this topic of homelessness is by the church groups like the River of Life Mission. The churches use social workers and professionals in various fields who work in achieving the intended goals, and have made some contributions to help these poor people by providing them with hot meals, program shelter, clothing, medical clinic, legal aid, job referrals, Christian counseling, emergency distribution of food and providing other essential needs. Most of the time they visit these places during the day ad offer the needy people free lunches and to some extent give them enough to last them for supper.

Homeless volunteer groups have also contributed immensely in curbing the situation. They have built ahead to build houses made of a shipping container in the Sand Island which can serve the purpose of hoses before properly and modern designed houses structures can be put up. One example of these homeless volunteer organizations is the Angel Network Charities (Bussewitz 2016) which has recruited social workers who go out helping the homeless I the streets by giving them food, clothes, household items as well as giving some of them rent so as to avoid being evicted from their houses.

Personal Interview with Honolulu County Mayor

The mayor of the city of Honolulu admitted that homelessness had become a challengingly complicated over the years. He said that the county collaboration with businesses, community groups, and faith-based organizations as well the concerned citizens has worked and contributed positively to solving the problem for everyone who is affected directly and indirectly. Together with other government officials like department directors, community leaders and federal agencies, the government has formulated strategies that will find a lasting solution to the problem of harmlessness. The mayor told me during the interview that they recognized the efforts of social workers and veterans in programs like career guidance and job bank, job searching workshops, training on occupational skills and services for job placement.

In conclusion, it is promising to completely get rid of the joblessness issue if at all everyone will take upon themselves to make a contribution to achieving this. The homeless should also be corporative since the programs put in place; the resources people contribute as well as time invested for their own good. Those without a genuine reason should be reasonable enough to clear the streets and the beaches, and I not so the government should do the necessary to clear them off for the good of everyone who is affected either directly or indirectly.


Bussewitz, C. (2016). Hawaii struggles to deal with rising rate of homelessness. Retrieved 7 December 2016, from is the City doing to help?. (2016). Retrieved 7 December 2016, from, M. & Crinean, G. (2004). Margaret J. Wheatley: Solving, not Attacking, Complex Problems. Retrieved 7 December 2016, from

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