The ACLU of Hawaii says the City and County of Honolulu has “reversed course” and is now going to permit survivors of domestic violence and persons with mental illness to access a new homeless shelter in Sand Island.

The ACLU had argued that keeping them out was discriminatory and violated federal and state law.

It also pointed out that domestic violence and mental illness are major contributors to homelessness.

ACLU Legal Director Daniel Gluck said in a press release Wednesday, “As Hawaii observes National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and considering the extra vulnerabilities of domestic violence survivors also experiencing homelessness or extreme poverty, the city’s reconsideration of this policy is especially timely.”

The Sand Island shelter is expected to open soon.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell unveils his plan to build a "modular" facility for Honolulu’s growing homeless population on vacant land at Sand Island.
Mayor Kirk Caldwell discussed an earlier version of the plan for a Sand Island homeless shelter in June. Cory Lum/Civil Beat


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