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Major homeless encampment on Maui bulldozed

July 5, 2012
The Maui Weekly

Bulldozers and other heavy equipment cleared 40 acres mauka of Honoapi'ilani Highway, from Dickenson Street to Kauaula Stream, of "little tent cities" that had housed hundreds of homeless people.

Maui police; social service agencies, including the Salvation Army, Family Life Center and Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Centers; county Housing and Human Concerns officials; state Department of Health nurses and doctors; and other community groups converged on the area on June 25.

Those involved in the operation on the private land owned by Ka'anapali Land Management Co. estimated that between 100 and 500 homeless people had lived in three major "villages" behind the Lahaina Aquatic Center, a cemetery and a streambed in Kauaula.

Most had dispersed to other areas when notices of the planned eviction were posted and distributed among the homeless population on June 12. There were only 18 to 20 people still at the site on June 25.

Ka Hale A Ke Ola was able to take in more than a dozen of those people. The Family Life Center reported that it had helped a west side couple on Tuesday find housing and was in the process of assisting a family of three that had a Housing and Urban Development veterans voucher.

A pre-eviction survey by Ka Hale A Ke Ola, which put the number at about 100 homeless residents in the encampment, found that most of the residents in the area were single, though there were a few families. About 90 percent had substance abuse or mental health issues.

 
 

 

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