‘Compassionate Disruption': Honolulu’s Homelessness Balancing Act

Mayor Kirk Caldwell must straddle the line between doing what he believes is right for the homeless and keeping his constituency happy. This has led to some questionable decisions.

·By Nick Grube

Homelessness has put Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell in an unenviable bind.

He says it’s important to empathize with and support those who are living on the streets by providing them with stable housing.

At the same time, he understands that as mayor he must respond to community angst over an increasingly visible crisis by clearing out the homeless from parks and sidewalks.

Lately, he’s been pushing for stricter enforcement of city laws, which has led to the arrest of dozens of homeless people and raised questions about where his priorities lie. And on

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Nick Grube

Nick Grube is a reporter for Civil Beat. You can reach him by email at nick@civilbeat.com or follow him on Twitter at @nickgrube.
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What do you think of Mayor Kirk Caldwell's tactics so far as they relate to homelessness?