Ask the Mayor: How to Stop Mainland Groups from Sending Homeless to Maui?

July 6, 2018, 12:11 PM HST · Updated July 6, 12:11 PM
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Homeless/Kahului Maui. PC: Wendy Osher

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

Dear Mayor Alan Arakawa,

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Q: Are any steps being taken to stop mainland organizations from sending their homeless to Maui? Can stopping this even be possible? Can we send these homeless away ourselves?

A: The county can’t keep someone from moving to another state or force them to leave. However there is a “Return to Home” program sponsored by the Hawaiʻi Lodging & Tourism Association. The program pays for a homeless individual from the mainland to go back home if they want to leave, with the condition that the Family Life Center would first need to confirm that the individual would have a place to stay with family or friends upon their return.

Want to ask the Mayor? Submit your own questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa at [email protected], (808) 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.

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