WAILUA — A booth of the Kaua‘i Humane Society was busy Tuesday morning at a Lydgate Park homeless outreach event.
The park is set to shutter at the end of May to its current houseless residents, who have been able to shelter in place for over a year.
A steady stream of clients were provided a chance to get animal vaccines, flea treatments, collars, microchips, spay and neuter vouchers and deworming medication, KHS Executive Director Nicole Crane Schafter said.
At an outreach held at Lucy Wright Beach Park, Crane Schafer said KHS had seen over 30 animals, and were able to vaccinate or microchip about 20, mostly puppies.
The county has set up outreach events with community partners each month prior to the park’s closing date. Tuesday, representatives from Kaua‘i Economic Opportunity, Women In Need, Project Vision – Hawai‘i with its mobile-hygiene center, and Kaua‘i Community Alliance, a chapter of Bridging the Gap, with Catholic Charities, showed up to offer support and services.
As of April, Lydgate hosted over 67 permitted individuals. And after it closes on the last Monday of the month, only Salt Pond Beach Park in Hanapepe will remain open until the end of June. It is likely that the encampment will be at capacity.
Nathan Apuna, a former cook at The Salvation Army, lives at the Lydgate encampment, and is unsure where he’ll go at the end of the month.
“People stereotype the homeless,” Apuna said. “We’re just people who are trying to survive. We don’t know where our next meal will come from.”
Apuna said he is thankful for these types of outreach events and those who have donated, but without anywhere to go and the closure of the camp, it’s a difficult situation.
“Housing is very limited,” KEO’s Trink Martin said. “It’s a bleak situation.”
Sabrina Bodon, public safety and government reporter, can be reached at 245-0441 or firstname.lastname@example.org.