US

Tight space, housing costs hurt effort to aid homeless in Hawaii; cleanup sweeps criticized

  • FILE - In this Tuesday, June 9, 2015 file photo, Stefanie Sanchez talks about what it's like to live along the banks of a canal in Honolulu. Sanchez has lived in a tent here for several months, and the city of Honolulu sent a crew to clean up the area on Tuesday. Sanchez said she planned to return after the sweep. Hours after a city crew cleared the banks of the canal, the homeless people that had been living there moved right back to the riverside, leaving some wondering whether the expense of taxpayer money was justified. (AP Photo/Cathy Bussewitz)

    FILE - In this Tuesday, June 9, 2015 file photo, Stefanie Sanchez talks about what it's like to live along the banks of a canal in Honolulu. Sanchez has lived in a tent here for several months, and the city of Honolulu sent a crew to clean up the area on Tuesday. Sanchez said she planned to return after the sweep. Hours after a city crew cleared the banks of the canal, the homeless people that had been living there moved right back to the riverside, leaving some wondering whether the expense of taxpayer money was justified. (AP Photo/Cathy Bussewitz)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Thursday, June 11, 2015 photo, homeless people and their tents line a canal in Honolulu. Hours after a city crew cleared the banks of the canal, the homeless people that had been living there moved right back to the riverside, leaving some wondering whether the expense of taxpayer money was justified. (AP Photo/Cathy Bussewitz)

    In this Thursday, June 11, 2015 photo, homeless people and their tents line a canal in Honolulu. Hours after a city crew cleared the banks of the canal, the homeless people that had been living there moved right back to the riverside, leaving some wondering whether the expense of taxpayer money was justified. (AP Photo/Cathy Bussewitz)  (The Associated Press)

The city of Honolulu is spending $15,000 a week on a crew to clean up tent cities that emerge around Oahu.

It isn't long, however, before homeless people stream right back in because there is no place else for them to go on the small island of glitzy resorts where the cost of living is through the roof.

Honolulu has some shelter and housing programs in place, but there are long waits for services and a shortage of low-income housing for the homeless population that ranks high among other cities in the nation.

Advocates for the homeless say the tent city sweeps aren't working and the money could be better used to aid homeless families.