Homeless in Hawaii

Homeless in Hawaii

First Documentary (2017)

Film Review

Despite recent publicity about the high level of homelessness in Los Angeles, it turns out that Hawaii is the state with the highest rate of homelessness.

This documentary begins by exploring local efforts to criminalize homelessness via their “sit and lie” laws (which make it illegal to sit or lie on the sidewalk). Hawaii Kai, the second richest post code in the US, has a residents vigilante group patrolling the streets for homeless people to report to the police.

A quote by one of their wealthier members is absolutely priceless: “You can’t have a society where one factor just takes and takes and takes.” Ironically she is referring to homeless people – even though her comment is far more pertinent to the wealthy elite she belongs to.

The film goes on to profile a campaign by Hawaii state senator Josh Green to use state Medicaid funds to enable doctors to prescribe “housing” for homeless patients. At present Hawaii spends more than a billion a year on emergency medical care for the homeless (for hepatitis, chronic infections and other conditions linked to homelessness). Green argues that millions could be saved by preventing these patients from becoming homeless in the first place.

In the last segment filmmakers visit an extremely well-organized, self-governing homeless tent city one hour from Honolulu.

8 thoughts on “Homeless in Hawaii

  1. Reblogged this on shelbycourtland and commented:
    While watching this video, I literally broke down in tears. Pu’uhonua O’ Wai’anae village is Hawaii’s oldest and largest homeless community. Most people who live there are Native Hawaiian. The unofficial mayor of this community, Twinkle Borge, had this to say, “How is it that the Hawaiians are struggling? You came here and took our land from us and we are struggling.”

    A third of Hawaii’s homeless population are Native Hawaiian. And the white folks who went to Hawaii and apparently made it big off the tourist trade now own multi-million dollar homes and are demanding that local and state politicians continue to enact laws that make it illegal to be homeless in Hawaii and yet another law was enacted making it illegal to ‘sit or lie’ down on the sidewalk.

    What was done to these people is worse than a disgrace and those of you who are of European descent have much to answer for, too damn much and yet, you are immune to the suffering that to this very day, you are the cause. How can you even think that you can call yourselves, “human?” Because it is quite obvious that the majority of you have no conscience to bother you at all.

    The average house in Hawaii costs $700,000 and it has been stated that most people have to work two jobs just to pay for somewhere to live. And yet while the native islanders are homeless, in this video there were tourists who were having wedding photos taken at the same time that people whose land this was originally are trying to find water and who have no electricity in their homeless encampment.

    These are the times when I am so very glad that I am not ‘white’ or otherwise of European descent because when the time of reckoning comes, I won’t have to worry, you will! And how! And hell would be too good for the likes of you!

    Like

  2. Sadly, Shelby, Europeans didn’t just accidentally show up in Hawaii – they conquered it militarily (in 1893), overthrowing the legitimate government and driving Native Hawaiians off their lands and seizing them for themselves. It’s a classic colonization scenario – which still hasn’t ended and continues to this day by US efforts to colonize the US, Africa, Latin America, Asia and everywhere else they see an opportunity to steal land and resources from the poor and vulnerable.

    Thanks for reblogging my post.

    Like

  3. It would indeed, kelley. From what I read in anthropology, human beings lived in harmony with each other for 250,000 years before they embarked on the current system. Even in Europe, people owned land in common that they used for pasture and crops until about 300 years ago – when the wealthy elite started driving them off the commons. Before this time, there were no prisons and no police – there was no need so long as people had the means to provide for themselves.

    Thanks for your comment.

    Like

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