Hawaii County closes temporary homeless camp in Kailua-Kona

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii — Hawaii County has closed a temporary homeless encampment in Kailua-Kona.

West Hawaii Today reported Tuesday that Camp Kikaha in the Old Kona Industrial Area had been open for more than seven months.

Lance Niimi, executive assistant to Mayor Harry Kim who specializes in managing Hawaii Island’s homeless problem, said the camp was never meant to be permanent.

Linda Vandervoort, a volunteer who handled day-to-day management of Camp Kikaha, said a lack of running water and fire hazards due to the canopies and pallets used to set up and separate individual living units factored heavily into the decision to shut the camp down.

She said the county’s shifting focus to more permanent solutions, along with a sister site in Hilo and potentially Pahoa, also played a role.

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Information from: West Hawaii Today, http://www.westhawaiitoday.com

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