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April 12, 2020
Understanding Homelessness is Key to Solving the Problem
"We think that homelessness is a problem, because we are not comfortable with it," said Michelle Tippens, "but for a lot of people who are homeless, we're simply not on the same wave-length. So very often we see something that is unfamiliar and view it as a "problem." We need to identify the group of people that actually want homes and create a path to get them housed. However, we also need to identify those who DON'T want housing and find compromises that provide them with safe spaces to sleep and basic amenities so that we can all share our nation together. In Hawaii, homelessness is rampant but what percentage of this population wants housing? What percentage want to live in nature and just need a warm shower, a working toilet and a safe place to sleep?
Before we can offer real assistance, we need to understand the type of assistance wanted. We can work together to meet the needs of our homeless population, once we outline what those needs are. The best first step is getting public bathroom facilities repaired and reopened. Installing security cameras to monitor entrances and common spaces will keep criminal activity down and having multiple personnel each monitor a limited number of bathrooms each day will keep these spaces safe, clean and functional."