County considers homeless safe zone

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Agencies concerned with hunger and homelessness gather on the lawn of the historic County Building, Wednesday.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Cheyenne Balino gets her blood pressure reading from the Dept. of Health’s Pua Kaohelauli‘i, Wednesday during the Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week event at the lawn of the historic County Building.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Salvation Army Lts. Bill and Cathy Simon are among the volunteers ladling servings of chili, Wednesday during the Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week event at the lawn of the historic County Building.

LIHUE — The County of Kauai may establish a safe zone to help the homeless population.

“While the county has not implemented a safe zone here on Kauai, it is an option that we are considering,” Sarah Blane, Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.’s chief of staff, wrote in an email. “However, we would need to ensure that we site a location that has access to water, electricity and is in close proximity to services. Proper management and security of the site would also be key factors that we would need to work out prior to us proposing a safe zone or similar operation.”

Outreach workers visited with the homeless Wednesday in front of the Historic County Building during “Hope in the Park” sponsored by the Kauai Community Alliance in recognition of Homeless Awareness Week.

About 50 people, including representatives from the different agencies dealing with hunger and homelessness turned out for information, a free chili lunch, and prizes, including a month’s pass on The Kauai Bus.

“It works,” said Cheyenne Balino. “These are the same people who helped me. I used to live on the streets. They listened to me and helped me. I have a house and I’m ready to go back to school in January.”

She was born on the Westside.

“Everything was good until I ran into drugs. I became homeless for a few years; it’s rough living on the streets, here. But I reached out, and got help to get me back into a house, and now, I’m ready for school. You need to apply, and comply.”

Others felt the gathering did not do enough as one homeless lady complained that the information did not go to where the homeless are staying.

“What about the other places?” she said. “I want a house, but I don’t qualify. I pay for a broken truck which I’m not supposed to drive, but how can you get around? I can’t even get a job at a gas station because of my record from 16 years ago. Everybody says, ‘yeah, yeah’ but nobody comes when you ask.”

Public health nurses from the Department of Health, Kauai Division Office, were offering free blood pressure readings.

The awareness week continues as the Westside Christian Center is hosting a meal Thursday and on Sunday, will be joined by the Aloha Church in distributing food bags.

The Salvation Army, Lihue Corps, will host its annual Community Thanksgiving Luncheon Wednesday at Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall.

A similar luncheon will be hosted at the same time at the Salvation Army, Hanapepe Corps for Westside people.

10 Comments
  1. Jacob Liggett November 16, 2017 7:35 am Reply

    Yes, get them out of our county parks and off our beaches…and you KNOW the county is considering this because the homeless are beginning to have a negative effect on tourism profits.


  2. manongindashadow November 16, 2017 12:08 pm Reply

    Is someone trying to gain brownie points to win an election? The homeless was never a concern before!


  3. Sunrise_blue November 16, 2017 12:12 pm Reply

    good deeds. “Remember me LORD, when thou comest into Thy” kingdom.”

    Do we make void then the law? Thou shall not covet? coveteous.


  4. Sunrise_blue November 16, 2017 12:34 pm Reply

    Covet means to yearn or want something eagerly or want a lot. Bible term.


  5. Sunrise_blue November 16, 2017 12:39 pm Reply

    Aren’t you Christians going to say a prayer first? “I mean we all can’t be hypocrites like your mayor, Bernard.”

    movie, Major League, starring Charlie Sheen.

    Sure!


  6. Sunrise_blue November 16, 2017 12:52 pm Reply

    You accuse them of sin. You’re a hypocrite too. Mayor. Homeless. It wasn’t me. ” “


  7. Sandy November 16, 2017 4:32 pm Reply

    Where is this safe zone supposed to be? You know it won’t be on the north side where all rich people live! Of course they will tuck it away on the west side where the tourists don’t go. Just you wait and see!


  8. kimo November 16, 2017 9:25 pm Reply

    Perhaps an appropriate safe zone would be near the county correctional facility. A short bus ride to services in Lihue, supervision on site, security on site, and no nearby neighbors.


  9. John Erwin November 17, 2017 6:38 am Reply

    There is a reality to the homeless problem on Kauai and all of Hawaii – unless we can make it 40 degrees colder, they are going to come to our shores. Sure, there is a resident homeless group and some of them are local to the island and just fell on hard times, but seems we need to distinguish between resident homeless and “visitors”. Cheaper to buy an airplane ticket and send them back to LA or SF or Seattle if they are just looking for a free ride in a nice environment. I mean, why would anyone want to be homeless in Chicago, or Boston where you freeze to death half the year. Get a ticket and go to Hawaii instead.


  10. Debra Kekaualua November 20, 2017 1:09 am Reply

    Put the kauai county directors mayor prosecuting attorney judges and lawyers in these homeless settings! maybe they can learn what it is like to


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