‘Tough Love’ Helps Hawaii’s Homeless; Exposing an Island Trafficking Ring; Home Ownership Out of Reach Because of Downpayment?

article top
Photo: Emily Metcalf

‘Tough Love’ Helps Hawaii’s Homeless

Have you ever wondered what you should do if homeless people ask you for money?


Hawaii’s state homeless coordinator, Mark Alexander, said in a recent television appearance on Hawaii Reporter television that you should not give these solicitors any money.

Those with time to spare can take a homeless person to eat or talk about services available through places like the Institute for Human Services. But cash could go to the wrong places, including feeding drug and alcohol addictions.

Alexander, a former Catholic priest who believes in “tough love” when it comes to helping Hawaii’s homeless, takes a similar stance on groups that feed homeless in a park.

Organizing a food drive in a park doesn’t help the homeless who shouldn’t be in the park in the first place, Alexander said. He said the exception is if the shared meal is used as an opportunity to educate the homeless on services available to them,

Alexander also does not believe that Hawaii’s 6,200 should be allowed to sleep on public property, such as sidewalks, bus stops, and parks.

Connie Mitchell, head of the state’s most well known homeless shelter, the Institute for Human Services, agrees. She said what is left behind from homeless camp clean ups is extremely unsanitary.

Alexander, Mitchell and other homeless advocates such as Darryl Vincent, who is heading up the effort to get US homeless veterans the help they need, are working to get Hawaii’s homeless into shelters and affordable housing.

The goal – to end homelessness in Hawaii.

Exposing a Farm Workers Trafficking Ring

Hawaii Reporter published a second investigative news report on Laotian farm workers who are trapped on Oahu farms.

The report shares the story of two of these workers, how they came to Hawaii, and how they were hospitalized after working on Oahu farms because of the chemicals they were forced to mix and spray.

Laotian workers we’ve interviewed say there are about 1,000 of them stuck here because of high recruitment fees they owe local recruiters.

See the first report in the series here.

Hawaii Reporter continues to dig into this story to uncover who is behind this sophisticated network.

Home Ownership Out of Reach Because of Downpayment?

LendingTree released a study today documenting the highest and lowest average mortgage down payment in all 50 states and Washington DC.

Hawaii was 4th with an average down payment of 13.37%. While New Jersey leads the nation with a 13.76% average down payment, North Dakota is last, with an average 11.37% down payment.

Doug Lebda, founder and CEO of LendingTree, said with housing market continuing to struggle and fewer consumers being able to purchase a new home or apartment, if Federal regulators were to adopt the proposed 20 percent down payment requirement, a majority of borrowers wouldn’t be able to meet the standard.

More on the web: infographic showcasing the “down payment divide”  https://marketing.lendingtree.com/pr/map_info_graphic.jpg.