Homeless arrivals in Hawaii receive one-way ticket back to the mainland

“At airports in Hawaii, those arriving without lodging are being told to turn around and fly back to where they came from or face arrest,” according to Beat of Hawaii, a travel website I enjoy and read regularly.

“This is to reduce the homeless situation. Hawaii has since 2014, used private and public funds to pay for half the airfare to send 744 homeless people back home to their families on the mainland. A bill now before the state legislature – House Bill 1945 – will provide a dollar-for-dollar match to the program led by the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association and the state’s Hawaii Tourism Authority.

“Hawaii’s Institute for Human Services said that in 2018, hundreds of people from the U.S. mainland showed up at its shelters for help. Of those, they said most were single men, many of whom had been in Hawaii less than three months.

“This week for example, Kauai police arrested a 50 year old visitor from Washington state. He had arrived Thursday on an Alaska Airlines flight from Seattle. When he was asked about where he was staying (as is currently required of all arrivals), he did not have accommodations and apparently refused to find them. He was taken to jail, then returned yesterday to Seattle.

“And yesterday, another visitor from Florida was arrested following an interisland flight, when he could not provide proof of lodging. He was arrested and is facing multiple charges. Once released, he’ll have to either provide accommodation information or will get a free flight home.”

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

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