Every Saturday for the past year-and-a-half, our houseless friends from the Kaka‘ako area have performed community service. They started with cleanups of Gateway Park, where they lived, then expanded to clean around the Children’s Discovery Center, urging other houseless folks to move away from there out of respect for staff and visitors. When the City & County of Honolulu was given authority over Kaka'ako parks in the fall of 2019, City officials began a newly intensive enforcement campaign that forced long time community members to relocate.
These actions proved highly disruptive for the community and the group known as Ka Po‘e o Kaka‘ako (KPOK). However, KPOK remained determined to continue their service and community building. When they were swept out of Kaka‘ako, several moved to Hale Mauliola Navigation Center (HMO), a shelter center on Sand Island. In 2020, they continue their every-Saturday service, cleaning around HMO and then returning to the Ala Moana area to reconnect with their friends on the street and mālama the grounds of the Children’s Discovery Center and the parks near Ala Moana. The crew is anchored by John Mantanona, John Kaulupali, Aura Reyes and others from KPOK, who continue the work today.
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