CIVIL RIGHTS AND COMMUNITY ADVOCATES DISAPPOINTED BY CITY’S CONTINUED MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT “SWEEPS” OF HOUSELESS FAMILIES

Groups and individuals representing a broad range of interests and constituencies today released a statement expressing disappointment in the continued “sweeps” of the houseless community – many of whom are families – by the City and County of Honolulu. The statement is as follows:

At 3:00 am on New Year’s Eve the City and County of Honolulu will again “sweep” houseless people in Waikiki.

Unfortunately, this establishes a pattern of holiday sweeps this year – the day before Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and now this. We understand the City’s stated intent for doing this is to help get people into shelters. We agree with that goal. But we don’t understand why these sweeps must occur in the middle of the night, when shelters and services are limited. And we don’t agree that threatening people with arrest if they refuse is practical. Furthermore, with the point-in-time count fast approaching, these sweeps threaten to undermine public confidence in the accuracy of the count.

In the New Year, we truly hope we can work together as a community to discuss and implement community-based solutions to houselessness that are more effective, more legally defensible, and more consistent with the culture of aloha in our island home.

The following groups and individuals joined in this statement:

Muslim Association of Hawai’i
Filipina Advocacy Network
Hawai’i Community Bail Fund
Hawai’i J-20
Hawai’i Friends of Civil Rights
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Hawai’i
UNITE HERE Local 5
The Interfaith Alliance Hawai’i (TIAH)
Honolulu Hawai’i NAACP
SILAH
Young Progressives Demanding Action
Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) Honolulu Chapter
Temple Emanu-El
Democratic Socialists of Honolulu

Professor Mari Matsuda, William S. Richardson School of Law
Alani Apio, Hui Aloha Volunteer
Cathy Kawano-Ching, Hui Aloha Volunteer
Jennifer Darrah-Okike, Assistant Professor of Sociology, UH Manoa
James Koshiba, Public Policy Consultant & Hui Aloha Volunteer
David Derauf, MD, Family Doctor
Nathalie Rita, PhD Candidate at UH Manoa
Joy Matsumoto, Realtor Associate & Hui Aloha Volunteer
Brent Kakesako, Executive Director, Hawai’i Alliance for Community-Based Economic Development
Kaimana Pinē, Small Business Owner, Hui Aloha Volunteer
Darcie Scharfenstein, Hui Aloha Volunteer

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