Kanaka Village Proposed as Pilot project for Homeless
By Wendy Osher
A pilot program is being proposed that seeks the establishment of a “kanaka village” for homeless. House Bill 1489 would require the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) to develop the program for those who are or could possibly be DHHL beneficiaries.
The item advanced out of the House Committee on Hawaiian Affairs and now heads to the House Committee on Finance for further consideration.
The bill was introduced by Representative Mele Carroll of Maui as a way to address the “disproportionate representation of native Hawaiians among the State’s homeless.” The proposed village would allow for the establishment of a community where native Hawaiians who are homeless could live in tents and subsist off the land, utilizing traditional Hawaiian methods of sustainability.
Those participating in the program, must first qualify as a beneficiary in order to be considered under the legislation. Additionally, the measure provides for the designation of an island on which to establish the village in an area already identified as Hawaiian home lands.
Rep. Carroll said the village helps to fulfill the Hawaiian Home Lands Act by providing a place where Hawaii’s homeless “can reside without fear of harassment and eviction.”
“We must address this critical issue and not turn our backs on our people,” said Rep. Carroll.