City ban on tents goes into effect


POSTED: Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The city's ban on shopping carts and tents at its 293 parks went through most of its first day of enforcement without major incidents.

No one was arrested or cited, although 11 people were issued warnings in the downtown district that includes Ala Moana Park and Chinatown, police said.

At Queen's Surf in Waikiki, a homeless man complied with police orders to fold his tent early yesterday morning, but otherwise there were no tents put up in the area, police said.

Some homeless people used tarps and large umbrellas to shade themselves from the wind, rain and sun as more than 20 occupied a few picnic tables at Queen's Surf yesterday morning.

“;We're not going anywhere,”; said Mindy Martin.

Jobie Kaeo added, “;But we're going to comply.”;

Kaeo said he has been homeless off and on for three years because of medical problems and would prefer not to live outdoors but has been unable to find work.

“;The opportunities are less for us at the bottom of the totem pole,”; he said.

;[Preview]  11 Homeless Campers Receive Written Warnings

Honolulu police officers did NOT issue any tickets to homeless campers. But they did give written warnings to 11 homeless campers in the downtown area.


Watch ]





Police Lt. Dwight Rodrigues said officers informed homeless people at Kapiolani Park and Queen's Surf about the ban on tents and shopping carts.

“;I think everybody got the news,”; Rodrigues said.

Under the ordinance a person in violation may be fined up to $500 and put in jail for up to 30 days.

Police spokeswoman Caroline Sluyter said officers were taking down names of those issued warnings and were providing information about the ban and locations of homeless shelters.

'We're really trying to be proactive,”; Sluyter said.

Kaneohe resident Jeff Medeiros, who was spending the day with his family at Kapiolani Park, said he was glad there were fewer homeless there.

“;It kind of keeps the family safe on outings like this,”; he said.

Pam Mercado, also of Kaneohe, said she felt sad about the ban forcing out homeless people.

“;Where do they have to go? It's a sad situation,”; she said.

Charles Mailo, a homeless veteran, said people who are looking for work now have the additional difficulty of being unable to rest.

“;It's kind of hard to get your act together and work, because you can't sleep,”; he said.

Daniel Gluck, senior attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union in Hawaii, said the ban does nothing to address the underlying problems of homelessness.

“;These types of laws are the reasons why Honolulu was rated among the 10 meanest cities for the homeless,”; he said.