We’ve been writing a lot of news stories about homelessness in Honolulu recently, particularly in Kakaako, but the neighbor islands have been dealing with the issue too.
The Garden Island reported that on Kauai, property owners are planning to clear land between Walmart and Wilcox Memorial Hospital that’s been home to a group of homeless people for at least several months.
The newspaper interviewed a man named Brett who has been living on the Lihue property with his pet chicken. Here’s an excerpt:
It’s a winding path, barely visible from the road, that leads into the tent city, and the forest is so thick, it’s impossible to see how many residents there actually are. From Brett’s tent, there are only two other tents within eyesight.
“At night, you can see lights in the forest, and you can hear them, so you know that there are people out there,” Brett said. “You don’t see them, though, ever.”
Brett said he’s upset that he’s losing the home he spent the past four months making for himself.
“We’re not all drug addicts out here,” Brett said. “Some of us are just trying to get back on our feet and we made these homes for ourselves because that’s all we have and we want a place to sleep at night.”
Brett explained that most of the homeless people he knows in tent city, and on the island, are good people who are just having problems with debt or other things and they can’t make ends meet. He said those who end up doing drugs do so out of desperation.
“You know, they get all depressed because they don’t even have a roof over their head and think, ‘What the hell, I’ll do some of those drugs,’” Brett said. “Not all of us are like that, though. Some of us, we take care of ourselves and we really liked living here. It’s a shame.”