Homeless Czar: Safe Zones Wrong Approach

Chad Blair/Civil Beat

With the international spotlight on Honolulu for the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting, the idea of creating "safe zones" for homeless people has become popular among some state lawmakers.

Without them, they're worried that law enforcement will "sweep" homeless from areas like Waikiki, where most APEC meetings will take place in November.

On Thursday, however, lawmakers were told by the state's homelessness czar and others that safe zones — temporary shelters with amenities like running water — are not an effective way to address homelessness.

As well, Rep. John Mizuno, chair of House Human Services, said he now believes there will be no roundup of homeless people.

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