(Via KITV+) There are chops shops operating under the freeway out of sight. They have been there for months.
Stripped mopeds are strewn everywhere amongst growing piles of rubbish buzzing with flies and roaches. Stray dogs can also be seen running around.
It’s a rough place hidden under the airport viaduct, but it’s also a place that many of the homeless call home.
The state estimates there are about 200 people living under the viaduct and along the stream. Officials say many of them have been there for years.
According to the state homeless coordinator, the illegal campers were put on notice this week.
“On Monday, the Department of Transportation along with the state sheriffs and homeless service providers are going to do a cleaning of homeless under the freeway, so they did give advance notice to those in the area,” said Scott Morishige.
Officials have been saying homeless sweeps won’t happen unless there are places for people to go, and when pressed, Morishige says the state has identified that there are available beds for singles and couples in emergency shelters now.
Lori Autry was one of the homeless who wasn’t aware of the pending sweep. In addition to the heat, she’s also been dealing with her boyfriend’s recent death — and now, the sweep.
“My kids come visit me sometime and bring me food,” she said.
Autry says she cannot stay with her kids, but she is ready to give up the streets and head for a shelter, even if it means giving up her puppy.
According to Morishige, outreach workers with Kalihi-Palama, Waikiki Health Center and the Institute for Human Services have been canvassing the area and are well aware of the high concentration of dogs and cats.
“It is difficult to separate from your pet because where are living unsheltered on the street your dog provides a sense of security and the providers try to be sensitive to that and working with agencies other address that,” said Morishige.
He also says the state does plan to follow up with regular checks to try to prevent the homeless from settling back in the area.
It remains to be seen how successful the teams will be.