Honolulu

Nightly Migration: Homeless Chased From Waikiki — for a Few Hours

Recent sweeps by city crews disrupt street people's lives and clear out the parks in the early morning hours, but are they effective?

·By Nick Grube

A good night’s sleep in Waikiki is hard to come by for Roberta Huddy.

She became homeless about a year ago after losing her job as a guest services agent at one of the hotels.

Now Huddy, who was born and raised on Kauai, lives in a worn-down Chevrolet Astro with her husband, Greg, on Kalakaua Avenue next to Kapiolani Park.

Their few belongings fill the vehicle from the passenger seat to the back hatch, blankets on the floor serving as a makeshift bed.

Devin Goodwin, 21, came from Alaska. The airport bus dropped him off in Waikiki five months ago and he’s been living on the streets since.

PF Bentley/Civil Beat

The van is also their getaway vehicle. It allows them to avoid police and city park crews who have ramped up their efforts to clear the homeless out of Waikiki.

Like many others who live on the streets, the Huddys are on the run.

“All they say is that we should move around,” Huddy complained while perched on the edge of her Astro. “At night I like to go up to Kapahulu because at least there I can sleep in peace.”

An estimated 4,700 homeless people live on Oahu, 1,600 of them without any shelter. Those figures give Honolulu the dubious distinction of having one of the highest per capita rates of homelessness in the country.

By choosing to live in Waikiki, the Huddys and others are on the front lines of a campaign to combat homelessness in the tourist mecca. And

About the Author

Civil Beat Staff

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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Discussion

Are the recent crackdowns on the homeless in Waikiki appropriate? Are they effective?