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Politics // The Right Price
Larry Price

Homeless Need Some Discipline

One of the poorest reasons for having “hygiene centers” constructed as a way of combating our “out of control” homeless problem is to say they have worked fairly well in Seattle.

For many years, Hawaii’s elected officials have traveled to far-off places and have come back with “new ideas.” It’s painful to think we don’t have any original ideas coming from our elected officials, because Hawaii is unique and we deserve fresh ideas for new problems that arise.

It’s pretty obvious that we’ve had homeless people for a long time in Hawaii on all of our islands. What’s new is they are more organized than “hippies, hobos, drifters, panhandlers and the chronically unemployed.” Homelessness now is an excuse to break the law, not observe rules and get free handouts at the public’s expense.

Hawaii has many generous programs to help these tired souls. What’s lacking is family support for these people. It makes you wonder, where are their family members? I suspect that some of the homeless are impossible for some family members to handle because they won’t follow any rules and are totally devoid of discipline.

I’m shocked that our City Council is still considering hygiene centers to make our homeless population more acceptable to taxpayers and our valuable tourist population. A hygiene center in Waikiki would stick out like a sore thumb and would be another extension of our welfare system.

Can you imagine what a “hygiene center” would look like with its occupants’ laundry hanging on homemade clotheslines? Of course, I’m sure someone would suggest providing the hygiene centers with electric washers and dryers, and a special group of volunteers to help them with repairing their clothing.

People who work with our homeless population are social angels, and we need their help. Just maybe, this is part of the problem.

It’s like being a chef and wanting to make a nice chicken salad, but not having any chicken. If the homeless need anything, it is discipline and some direction. They are not likely to get the discipline or direction from public workers in the Department of Parks and Recreation.

This is a worthy challenge for counselors and members of the medical profession.

Hygiene centers are a cute idea, but not original and not worthy of our taxpayers’ hard-earned money.

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