Thursday, March 18, 2010

Homeless in paradise 2003 article that could have been ripped from todays front pages.

Homeless in paradise

This was one of the most excellent coverage the Honolulu Advertiser ever did of this situation.

In 7 years we are right back where we started from. There have been incidents of reported "lock downs" in shelters of mothers with small children, where one woman claimed sh was told she couldnt leave the shelter for 30 days. She claimed her three small children were constantly getting "write ups".

For Hawaiis children and families we have always been free to be on the beach. It was always where you went if you were homeless. Now, the beach, fresh air, clean sunshine, and an ocean and sand to play in its difficult to lock children into facilities where their behavior is monitored and scrutinized every second of the day and parents are punished for supposed infractions of their childrens naturally exhuberant behavior.

Are prison camp internment camp style facilities the answer to Hawaiis homeless program? Are using shelter rules and regulations to control the behavior of hawaiis homeless as if they were criminals or second class citizens the way to intimidate people into facilities where they have no choice but to opbey any rule that is put to them even if it may be a violation of their basic civil liberties and human rights? Now, HPHA states that unless you are in a homeless shelter, you will now go to the bottom of the list for public housing. Laws are being created that essentially will give the law the right to take away what meager belongings people posess, take away their right to fresh air, sunshine and freedom and lock them up in little more than prison conditions. Even if they do this, there is still no guarantee of housing. At the same time, HPHA is looking to entice people with higher incomes into public housing by offering them incentives, and requiring credit checks. How many homeless have good credit? My guess is about one percent. With bad credit you can be turned away from public housing. SO where then will these people go? Nowhere. back into the street. shelters have a limit as to how long you can stay there. so does transitional housing. Then what? You cannot break the cycle this way. THis is no way to solve the homeless problem, but it is the way to destroy both emotionally phsychologicvally and materially the last vestiges of any dignity these poeple have. And that is fundamentally wrong.

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