Maui Affordable Housing Meeting and Q&A Session to Continue Discussion on Homelessness

November 13, 2020, 8:11 AM HST · Updated November 13, 8:11 AM
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Maui County Council Member Tasha Kama at the site of the former University of Hawaiʻi Maui College dormitory site in Kahului where a project is underway to convert the buildings into emergency housing for homeless people.  File photo 2019 credit: County of Maui / Ryan Piros

Maui County Councilmember Tasha Kama today announced she will be highlighting two possible approaches to addressing problems related to unsheltered individuals at her Affordable Housing Committee meeting on Monday, Nov. 16 at 9 a.m.

The AH Committee will receive a presentation and discussion on the progress made by Hawaiʻi’s first Community Outreach Court on Oʻahu. Community Outreach Courts are a collaborative process designed to assist the unsheltered in addressing violations of state and local laws and ordinances, and emphasize providing appropriate social services rather than punishment.

The Honorable Lendio Heim, District Court Judge, First Circuit of the State of Hawaiʻi, along with Oʻahu Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Mark Tom and a representative of the Public Defenders’ Office are expected to participate in the AH meeting Monday.

The AH Committee will also hear from retired community police officer, Lawrence Kauhaʻahaʻa regarding the existing “Clean and Safe” program in Wailuku Town, and requests to expand the program in Pāʻia, Lahaina and Kahului. The Wailuku program is funded by a County grant to the nonprofit Ho‘omaika‘i Services, has prompted members of the County Council to request the expansion of the program to other areas also experiencing impacts from encampments of unsheltered individuals.

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The AH meeting Monday will be available for viewing on Akaku Ch. 53 or online at mauicounty.us/agendas.

Councilmember Kama also announced that a community Q&A session will be held via the online BlueJeans platform on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020 starting at 5:30 p.m. The session will include a discussion on options for addressing issues arising from encampments of unsheltered individuals and the encouragement of services to prepare them for shelter and eventual permanent housing.

Councilmember Kama will explain the rationale for the recently filed legislation addressing distribution of food and goods and discussion of wrap-around services.

Requests to attend this meeting can be sent via email to [email protected] Registered attendees will receive an email response with a link to attend the meeting.

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