Updated 

Aiona: Hawaii should create courts for homeless


HONOLULU — Republican gubernatorial candidate Duke Aiona says Hawaii should create special courts for the homeless.

Aiona said Monday that people charged with public intoxication or sleeping in closed parks could seek services instead of paying fines or spending time in jail.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s homelessness coordinator Colin Kippen told Hawaii News Now that a homeless court would put resources in the wrong place. Kippen says services for mentally ill homeless were cut during former Gov. Linda Lingle’s administration when Aiona was lieutenant governor.

Aiona says it’s important to get people into programs. He doesn’t have a cost estimate for the homeless court program, but says the legislature could appropriate funding.

To help Hawaii’s homeless veterans Aiona suggests a peer-to-peer outreach program with the Hawaii National Guard.