Skip navigation.
   Candidate & issue information

Poverty in America Getting Worse

Mirroring the dire homeless situation in Hawaii, 60 Minutes covers homelessness in America, specifically in Florida. The people shown are relatively lucky in that they have a vehicle to live in. A quick look around Oahu shows that many homeless don't have one. On a recent trip to Waikiki, this writer saw an elderly woman resting her head on her small suitcase in the middle of a sidewalk at Kapiolani Park, trying to get some sleep at night, but none too successfully.

A couple of months ago I saw an especially pathetic sight: a woman with no legs, clearly homeless, manually powering her wheelchair, which was laden down with her possessions (probably no vehicle to lock them in), crossing King Street during the day.

Another man in leeward Oahu who rides the bus to get around told of being stung by a centipede as he tried to get some sleep on the ground, sending him in excruciating pain to an emergency room.

Why don't the homeless stay in government facilities for the homeless, where Governor Abercrombie and other state officials say they'll be better off? Because druggies, drinkers, the mentally ill, people who use their beds in a common room as bathrooms and the mean-spirited are there, say a couple of homeless males who were thinking of trying it and beat a fast retreat when they saw what kind of company they'd be keeping.


A reporter's story: Finding homeless families

Read the story

"Everyone can do something"

Government programs: "Maxed out"

Social worker Beth Davalos says government programs haven't kept pace with homelessness in Seminole County [Florida].

"Something with a roof"

Growing up homeless


Older, Suburban and Struggling, ‘Near Poor’ Startle the Census [The New York Times]

Hawaii residents: three paychecks away from homelessness [The Honolulu Advertiser] Feb 16, 2007. This was before the massive bailouts started in October 2008. It can only be worse now.