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Ask the Mayor: What is Being Done About Homeless at Baldwin Beach Park?

Posted April 3, 2017, 08:00 AM HST Updated April 3, 2017, 01:25 PM HST
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Baldwin Beach Park file photo by Wendy Osher.

Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the questions submitted to his staff.

Submit your own questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa at AskTheMayor@mauicounty.gov, 270-7855 or mail them to 200 S. High St., 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793.

Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column.

Dear Mayor,

Q: What is being done to address the growing presence of homeless people at Baldwin Beach Park? These individuals—many behaving strangely or appearing to be in an altered state—make many residents and their kids feel unsafe, especially around the parking lot and the pavilion.

We cannot avoid them when arriving at the beach, and their vehicles, now parked in front of the gate, frequently obstruct entry onto the beach road and visibility to re-enter the highway.

Their unleashed dogs have attacked leashed pets on several occasions, most recently on Feb. 25, 2017.

Overall, the growing number of homeless at Baldwin Beach is seriously compromising tax-paying residents’ safety, quality of life and enjoyment of our local beach.

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Please take this issue seriously so we may have our family beach back.

A: Maui Police Department is aware of the illegal camping, and is in communication with other agencies to address the issue.

Additionally, homeless outreach workers contracted by the county have made contact with some of the individuals in question and determined that the overriding majority were not truly homeless individuals or families, but “travelers” who were on-island temporarily to surf or to just “check out the area.”

Numerous attempts were made to engage with these individuals without much success, as most of them indicated they were only interested in receiving food and were not interested in gaining employment or housing.

Further outreach will be conducted in the area to seek out those who desire housing and employment.

While we cannot prevent anyone from enjoying the beach, if there are concerns regarding illegal camping, substance abuse, illegal parking and general public safety, response from enforcement officials is indeed warranted, as in this case.

For complaints about unleashed dog, the Maui Humane Society should be contacted.

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