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Wednesday, June 5, 2019
Death Gets 373 Homeless off Streets
By News Release @ 9:47 PM :: 5150 Views :: Honolulu County, Hawaii Statistics, Homelessness

Soft on Homeless Policies Killing Homeless in the Streets

KITV: … "Four of my friends have died on the streets from alcohol abuse," homeless resident Joey Rebman said.

According to data from the Medical Examiner's office, over the past five years acute alcohol intoxication resulted in the death of 19 homeless residents.

(CLUE: These people are dead because they were not FORCED into treatment.)

That is a small portion of the 372 people who died during that period. …

The Medical Examiner's office says 'needlessly' because some residents refuse to accept health care or won't clean up their poor hygiene which can eventually result in life-threatening conditions.

"Maybe I'm a diabetic and get an infection on my foot, but if that is not treated then it can seed my blood and that is what sepsis is and mortality rates go up," Dr. Christopher Happy, Honolulu Medical Examiner. …

(CLUE: These people are dead because they were not FORCED into treatment.)

86 deaths were related to meth use. According to Dr. Happy they also likely contributed to many of the 89 deaths related to cardiovascular issues. … 

13 homeless residents were killed in homicides, nearly two dozen took their own life during that time.

Even more died from falls, car accidents, or injuries.

"My other friends the old timers they drink, drink, drink, next thing you know they in the water, next thing you know they drowning," homeless resident Smallboy said.

16 people drowned over the past 5 years, just under the number of deaths that were undetermined….

The average age for homeless residents dying on the streets is 52 years old, nearly decades less than Hawaii's average life expectancy of 81.  …

(CLUE: These people are dead at 52 because they were not FORCED into treatment.)

read … Solution: Apply More Force

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Leadership: San Francisco to force treatment on mentally ill drug users

AP: … San Francisco officials decided today to force some people with serious mental illness and drug addiction into treatment, even if it goes against the spirit of a city known for its fierce protection of civil rights.

Several members of the Board of Supervisors voiced deep concerns today about the possibility of taking away a person’s civil liberties, but the proposal for a pilot program passed 10-1.

Mayor London Breed and other supporters say the move — known as conservatorship — is necessary to help people who are often homeless, addicted to drugs and have a mental illness, making them a danger to themselves.

“Allowing people to continue to suffer on our streets is not acceptable or humane, and I am glad the Board of Supervisors supported our approach to finally make a change,” Breed said in a statement after the vote….

News Release: Board of Supervisors Approves Conservatorship Legislation

read … SF Applies Force

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Homeless deaths demonstrate need to house vulnerable population

News release from City and County of Honolulu, June 5, 2019

HONOLULU — An analysis by Medical Examiner Dr. Christopher Happy shows 373 people who were considered homeless at the time of their deaths have died on O‘ahu from 2014 through 2018, a period of five years. The average age of death amongst this vulnerable population was 52.6 years, well below the current life expectancy in the U.S. of 78.6 years old and more than 80 years old here in Hawai‘i.

The cause of death for the 373 individuals were varied, but some patterns did emerge, for example, disease and poor hygiene, violence, the abuse of narcotic drugs, and even drowning (see attached PDFs).

“The truly compassionate thing to do for our homeless population is to get them into shelter and off our streets where statistics show they are more likely to die at a relatively early age,” said Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “The statistics gathered by the medical examiner is a sobering wake-up call, and even for the shelter-resistant population, we need to get them into supportive housing as soon as possible and not allow them to die needlessly. This is what my program of ‘Compassionate Disruption’ is all about.”

“Compared to O‘ahu’s general population those who are homeless have a higher rate of death from drug abuse, infectious diseases, and in far too many instances, they fall victim to homicide,” said Medical Examiner Dr. Happy. “We have also found the investigation of homeless deaths is much more difficult due to a lack of social and familial ties, which are often used to determine the circumstances surrounding how someone dies. It’s clear from the data that we gathered that living on the streets leads to an early death.”

The breakdown of homeless deaths during the five year period is as follows:

  • 2018          -           90 deaths
  • 2017          -           70 deaths
  • 2016          -           78 deaths
  • 2015          -           63 deaths
  • 2014          -           72 deaths 

“The statistics are startling and show us that our streets and other public areas are not fit for human habitation,” said Office of Housing Executive Director Marc Alexander. “As an island community that believes in the principle of ‘aloha,’ true compassion is helping people into stable shelter and supportive housing where their health needs can be addressed.

“As a society, we are responsible to care for all human beings,” added Pam Witty-Oakland, director of the Department of Community Services. “How we treat the ill members of our society speaks to our compassion, and I challenge everyone to demonstrate their concern by helping to get the homeless population off city streets where their lives are being threatened every day.”


KITV: See where Oahu's homeless residents are dying


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