Maui News

Resolution to Establish Kanaka Village for Homeless Advances

March 29, 2011, 7:36 AM HST
* Updated March 29, 7:55 AM
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By Wendy Osher

Shack, file photo by Wendy Osher.

Lawmakers advanced a resolution yesterday aimed at establishing a Kanaka Village for homeless people in the native Hawaiian community.  Maui Representatives Mele Carroll and Angus McKelvey joined two of their colleagues in introducing Resolution 225.

The item specifically requests that the Office of Hawaiian Affairs conduct a feasibility study for the establishment of the village.  The program is intended for those native Hawaiians that are homeless, live in Hawai’i, and whom are, or could possibly be, beneficiaries of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL).

The item is aimed at addressing the disproportionate representation of native Hawaiians among the State’s homeless.  The disparity, according to Rep. Carroll, is nearly 40 percent.

“Hawaiians whom are homeless can reside without fear of harassment and eviction that is so prevalent in dealing with the homeless in Hawai’i. This is also an attempt to fulfill the Hawaiian Home Lands Act where the rehabilitation of our people can take place,” said Rep. Carroll.

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The village would consist of tents or other approved types of shelter where homeless Hawaiians could subsist off the land, utilizing traditional Hawaiian methods of sustainability as they progress towards home ownership.

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Rep. Mele Carroll said the passage of the Resolution by the joint committee is a, “welcomed sign that the legislature is taking measures to improve the plight of the homeless.”

The item advanced yesterday with amendments by the House Joint Committees on Housing and Hawaiian Affairs.  The item now goes to the House Committee on Finance for further consideration.

“We must address this critical issue and not turn our backs on our people,” said Rep. Carroll.

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