IHS offers to help new business neighbors deal with homeless

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IHS offers to help new business neighbors deal with homeless


We first told you last week about the changes happening in Kalihi that would impact the homeless population in that area. On Sunday, we learned how one non-profit is helping both businesses and people living on the streets.

Three new stores — Ross Dress for Less, Longs Drugs and PetSmart — will be the new occupants of the old Kmart building in Iwilei, and if you drive by it on Nimitz Highway, you know that there is a homeless camp near by.

The Institute of Human Services is located in the same area and its director of community relations Kimo Carvalho says it has a tool kit for companies to help them do business.

“A lot of businesses often times feel emotionally hostage, that just because a homeless person is on their property, using the restrooms or maybe stealing pallets or boxes, that they don’t have rights to actually protect their own things,” he said.

Carvalho says he encourages businesses to work together with the non-profit.

“If it’s not okay to be on their property,” he said, “rather than just kicking them out, just ask them ‘hey, maybe would you like to work with IHS? They are right next door.’ And we are willing to help and respond.”

We wanted to know what the bigger plan is to help the homelessness in the area and Carvalho is hoping the rail line through Iwilei will help address that.

“We hope that transit-oriented development adds a lot of affordable housing,” he said, “because housing is a solution to not just homelessness but really having value added to our community.”

We also reached out to urban and regional planning experts from the University of Hawaii, and department chair Karen Umemoto says healthy communities include everybody from all income groups.

“Healthy communities normally have a full range of services that people need from all age groups — from kids to the elderly — so this can include everything from mental health services to geriatric services to early childhood education and substance abuse treatments.”

Real estate analysts tell us the location in Iwilei is good for businesses because of Nimitz Highway and how thousands of cars drive through that area in Kalihi every day.

By Sara Mattison | KHON2 News 

View the story live at http://khon2.com/2017/03/26/ih...