(HONOLULU) — The Aloha State is tackling homeless in an effort to clean up tourist areas and assist individuals and families below the poverty line.
The Honolulu City Council held a special hearing Thursday, passing bills to prohibit people from lying, sitting, and relieving themselves on streets. The legislation is set to go before the full city council on July 9.
The meeting comes after business owners and residents complained of a growing homelessness problem in the Chinatown and Downtown areas, according to ABC affiliate KITV.
“Not a day goes by where we aren’t directly faced with a new challenge,” said business owner Jeff Mull.
Others, like Dan Purcell, offered alternative solutions to the council.
“We need restrooms. It’s…not medieval times. It’s just a basic human need. People have to go to the restroom,” Purcell said.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced a homeless action plan on June 15 to address to issue, saying that combating the problem is a “top priority.”
Starting July 1, $3 million will go toward rental assistance, supportive services, and other expenses to place homeless individuals and families in Waikiki, Chinatown, and Leeward O’ahu. Additional funds will be used to partner with private developments for approximately 300 housing units in the neighborhoods.
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