Board Tackling Homelessness

Carol Chang
Wednesday - August 05, 2009
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Responding to complaints and wanting to be proactive, the Wahiawa Neighborhood Board formed a Homeless Task Force on July 20.

The move by chairman Ben Acohido grew out of a July 6 special meeting of the board about the homeless people who gather around the town’s civic center. This was one of several dialogues about the town’s increasing problem with houseless people who camp in the area.


“The result (of the July 6 meeting) was DAGS agreed to post signs on all sides of the property advising that the grounds were closed from about 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.,“said board vice chair Joe Francher. “DAGS also said they would coordinate with the sheriff’s department to sweep the grounds for drugs or other illegal stuff.”

Several groups are engaged and want to help, Francher said, including Housing and Homeless Alliance, Catholic Diocese and Hands of Hope.

HHA’s Catherine Datuin said she wants to arrange a kind of “homeless fair” to make needy people aware of resources.“We want to make a softer landing for them,“she explained, noting the difficulty posed by possible trespassing charges at the civic center.

Task force subgroups have three purposes, Francher (778-9270) said: * Work with agencies and contacts to define feasible solutions and how to accomplish them in Wahiawa. * Establish guidelines for data collection. * Educate the public on causes and consequences of homelessness for the individual and the community, both economically and socially; take input from the community.

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