STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2180
RE: H.C.R. No. 36
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2019
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Human Services, to which was referred H.C.R. No. 36 entitled:
"HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION URGING THE GOVERNOR'S COORDINATOR ON HOMELESSNESS AND THE CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU TO COME TOGETHER AND PRIORITIZE THEIR HOMELESSNESS EFFORTS IN THE AREA SURROUNDING THE HAWAI‘I CHILDREN'S DISCOVERY CENTER BY CONVENING A TASK FORCE,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to request the Coordinator on Homelessness and the City and County of Honolulu to come together and prioritize the homeless efforts in the area surrounding the Hawaii Children's Discovery Center by convening a task force.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii Children's Discovery Center, Hawai‘i Alpha Delta Kappa, Oahu County Committee of the Oahu County Democrats, and five individuals.
Your Committee finds that children's museums play a significant role in promoting lifelong learning and serve as important cultural resources within the community. The Hawaii Children's Discovery Center (Center) is the first and only children's museum in the State. The Center's mission is to bring information and experiences about the world to the children of Hawaii and instill in Hawaii's children pride in themselves and their ethnic and cultural heritage. The Center is a popular visitor attraction for families with children of all ages and a place where they can experience, explore, investigate, and discover things about themselves and the world around them in a creative and fun environment that includes hands-on, interactive exhibits.
Your Committee further finds that the Center has experienced extreme hardships due to the homeless population that surrounds the perimeter of the building. An inordinate amount of the Center's financial resources must be allocated for maintenance and repair issues as a result of trespassing, vandalism, and theft on the property. The safety of the children that enter and leave the Center is a concern since the areas around the Center are often unsanitary and there are reports of violence, drug dealing, crime, and other illicit behavior that goes on in the surrounding homeless encampments. Coordinated efforts by the City and State, together with social service agencies and health care providers, have not provided any long-term solution to this problem. The homeless encampments have become so detrimental to the Center and its patrons that the Center may be forced to close. This measure requests the Coordinator on Homelessness and the City and County of Honolulu to establish a task force to develop strategies to assist individuals and families facing homelessness around the Center and protect the Center from the effects of homelessness, which would allow the Center to continue to be a safe haven for families with children who are eager to come to the Center to play and learn.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Human Services that is attached to this report, your Committee concurs with the intent and purpose of H.C.R. No. 36, and recommends its adoption.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Human Services,
RUSSELL E. RUDERMAN, Chair