77065707_57d4673b3bIf I had to choose one place to be homeless, it would definitely have to be Hawaii and that’s only because of the year round warm climate. In April, I took a last minute vacation to Hawaii with a girlfriend and after a short walk around our hotel area, we noticed the large homeless population. At first we were shocked, but then after noticing the cost of living in Hawaii, we couldn’t understand how people could afford to live on the island.

In an attempt to rid Hawaii of its homeless issue, lawmakers in the state have come up with a novel idea.

Give the homeless people a one-way ticket off the island.

From Think Progress:

State legislators passed funding this year for a new program to offer one-way flights to any of the state’s estimated 17,000 homeless persons. Lawmakers appropriated $100,000 over the next two years for the “return-to-home” program, but that funding could increase if the initiative is viewed as a success.

There are many reasons why homelessness is so pervasive in Hawaii. It’s an expensive state to live in. It’s not easy to leave. There isn’t much affordable housing.

Viewed in the most charitable light, one-way flights allow homeless people who currently live in Hawaii but have a family or better job opportunities on the mainland to be able to move. Viewed more cynically, officials in Hawaii will use this initiative to coerce homeless persons into leaving, freeing the state from any further obligations to help them.

Urban legend has it that many of Hawaii’s homeless arrived to the island due to other states sending their homeless there with a similar program. In order to get a free one-way ticket, a person must be participating in the program for the first time and swear he or she is doing so voluntarily.

Although Hawaii is said to have a “generous” welfare system, the island’s infrastructure does not have adequate public housing resources for its population. Many people feel that instead of giving one-way tickets for people to leave, the state should spend more time trying to build programs that will aide the homeless population in finding housing and jobs.

What do you think about the program, Clutchettes?

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  • I wonder why these states don’t just build more housing? Build a place to put these people so you won’t be offended by them being out and about!

  • victoria

    ”Viewed in the most charitable light, one-way flights allow homeless people who currently live in Hawaii but have a family or better job opportunities on the mainland to be able to move..”

    If this is the case, Im all for the flight program. However, I doubt that there are many homeless people who have job offers on the mainland. The money will be better used for homeless programs on the island.

  • Living in Honolulu and working with many homeless people who are in crisis situations I could understand the logic behind the program, the only downfall is that it will probably attract more homeless people to the island who know they can get a free one way ticket back to the mainland. People will start to tell their friends when they get back home. I work with many homeless people who are imports from the mainland, who sadly collect money from the government then use the check for the month to buy a one way ticket to Hawaii and have no other resources or no way to get back home. Trust me being homeless anywhere sucks! To be homeless in Honolulu or NY or FL it sucks! In Honolulu many people from the mainland end up getting robbed in Waikiki, have no money, no ID to get back on the plane anyway, and use drugs because it was given to them by some guy on the street. The homeless shelter sucks. The local government shouldn’t have to build more housing because people from the mainland came here and now they can’t afford to go back home. There are so many local homeless people that really should get first pick over any new low cost housing, they were born here, this is their land, but since everything is so expensive families end up living in a tent on the beach. No everyone who is homeless is not a drug addict, or lazy, I have heard many stories and I know sometimes life happens. However, when people decide to take a plane here thinking its great to be homeless in Hawaii, they should really think twice, because your Hawaiian paradise can quickly because an everyday hell.
    Hawaii spends a lot of money on resources for homeless people from other states, I know because I help them get those resources, and many of them do want to go back home, they just can’t afford the plane ticket back to the mainland.