Honolulu, Hawai‘i: 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
  • 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