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City urges reporting of abuse of homeless people after disturbing account by Waikiki resident

<i></i><br/>A Waikiki resident and homeless advocate says he has seen many instances of people abusing homeless individuals.
Lawrence, Nakia

A Waikiki resident and homeless advocate says he has seen many instances of people abusing homeless individuals.

By Shanila Kabir

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    HONOLULU (KITV) — A Waikiki resident and homeless advocate told Island News he has seen many instances people abusing homeless individuals. He said he has witnessed people, and even some workers, in Waikiki dump their trash on homeless camps to get the people to leave.

“I’ve seen the disposal people that come to the Hyatt Hotel to pick up the garbage. I’ve seen them pull it out and empty it somewhere and put it back in but this time, I saw them pull receptacle out full of trash and push it towards the homeless people,” said Waikiki resident Timothy Crenshaw.

Homeless coordinator for Honolulu Sam Moku said this is the first time the department received this complaint. He reiterates homelessness is not illegal in the islands and they are entitled to the same type of help and medical care as others.

“We gets hundreds of calls regarding pointing out where the homeless are camping or if there’s a mess somewhere, we have to go out and send our crew there. But something like this should never happen to anyone,” said Moku.

The President of the Waikiki Business Improvement District Trevor Abarzua said the organization has not heard any negative reports. Abarzua said the organization has an outreach worker who offers services to the homeless people in the area.

He added that their partners offer food, water, medical services, shelter, and even bus passes to those in need along Waikiki.

According to the CDC, clearing homeless encampments and forcing the individuals to spread throughout the community causes potential spread of infectious diseases, and many homeless people end up away from the medical services they were receiving at the camp.

“Within Waikiki, we don’t have as many encampments compared to the rest of the island. It has a lot to do with the beaches closing at midnight. Before the Kuhio Beach Park was open 24 hours, there were larger encampments,” said Abarzua.

He said when they do the assisted community treatment, it is tough to find certain individuals and give them medication, especially the severely mentally ill.

Most of the homeless that fly in from the mainland come straight to Waikiki beaches.

The Waikiki Business Improvement District and their outreach partners offer these individuals resources and the funds to fly them back home. In terms of the homeless local residents, Abarzua said his goal is to get them back on their feet through medication and/or housing.

City officials say, if you do see someone harassing homeless people, to reach out and let the authorities know.

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