City officials began the much-anticipated sweep in Kakaako to clear a section of the area’s growing homeless encampment Tuesday — the first enforcement action there since late last year.

The enforcement of the stored property and sidewalk nuisance ordinances was conducted in a small section of the encampment, a one-block area mauka of Ilalo Street between Cooke and Ohe streets.

City and County workers load trucks with large pieces of trash along Ohe Street as part of the city's homeless cleanup in Kakaako. 8 sept 2015. photograph Cory Lum/Civil Beat

City maintenance crew members load trash into trucks along Ohe Street on Tuesday.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

City officials recently estimated that 20 to 25 people were camping in the area. But, by the time a maintenance crew arrived Tuesday, only a few stragglers and a toddler in a stroller remained. The rest had left the area, knowing that the sweep was coming: Last week, city officials posted signs and distributed handouts written in English, as well as Chuukese, Marshallese and Samoan, to notify them.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell said Tuesday’s action was part of the “phased enforcement” designed to clear out the encampment around the Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center and the University of Hawaii medical school. The timing of additional sweeps in the encampment’s other sections will be determined once the effectiveness of Tuesday’s action is evaluated, Caldwell said.

Signs alerting park users that the Makai Gateway Park was closed for maintenance as city crews went thru picking up trash and other belongings left by park users.  8 sept 2015. photograph Cory Lum/Civil Beat

A sign alerts park users that the Makai Gateway Park was closed as a maintenance crew cleared debris left behind by homeless people.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Baby waits in the stroller as mom assists a man with disassembling his tent along Cooke Street as City and County workers pick up trash along Ohe Street as part of the city's homeless cleanup in Kakaako. 8 sept 2015. photograph Cory Lum/Civil Beat

A toddler waits in the stroller while Mom assists a man disassembling his tent along Cooke Street.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Sunshine Tussing unties rope holding her tent frame while City and County workers pick up trash along Ohe Street as part of the city's homeless cleanup in Kakaako. 8 sept 2015. photograph Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Sunshine Tussing unties a rope holding her tent frame while a maintenance crew picks up debris along Ohe Street.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

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