KALIHIWAI — On Kauai, isolating hundreds of homeless people in five county beach parks for the last year has helped keep them safe from the coronavirus. It has also provided many of them with a rare sense of security.
Designated shelter-in-place camps, monitored by the county Health Department, have meant that people who are homeless can live in their cars and tents openly, without having to hide in the bushes or move constantly to dodge the authorities. Bringing them all together would have made it easier for health regulators to respond to a COVID-19 outbreak, although there never was one.
Many homeless campers have created elaborate, semi-permanent living quarters over the last year, complete with furniture, a communal trampoline for the kids, kayaks, electric stoves and solar panels.