On each of my trips to Hawaii I have noticed the homeless. On some areas of beach there are enough tents to qualify as a colony complete with keiki running around playing! Countless times I have wondered about the life being lived within those tents! On television interviews they frequently say they are living day-to-day which doesn’t give anyone energy to think in terms of a future! Trying to eat and have a safe place to stay at night is reinventing the wheel each day! I suspect the allure for the homeless living on the beach is the sheer simplicity of no rent, no electric bill and those living there watching out for one another. The crucial part of the wheel needing daily reinvention is obtaining food.
That might be fine or perhaps even idyllic for adults but what about the needs that are a part of childhood? Babies and children need regular medical care, dental work and education which prepares them to live in this modern world. When my own family was young we were always hard-pressed for money with medical, educational and clothing bills for five fast-growing kids! My Father worked two full-time jobs and Mom’s full-time job took three hours for the daily commute! We did what we had to do and were poor but we were happy!
My question regarding homeless keiki on the beaches is, “Are their needs being met?” Are they being equipped to live in a world which will demand those very things which their parents have turned their back on? Shouldn’t the keiki have all that they need in order to make their own decisions about whether or not to participate in society? I worry that ill-prepared beach-kids might step into the world of adult responsibilities ill-equipped to deal with that world, thereby ensuring they feel like foreigners on their own island! At the same time I wonder if their experience of close ‘Ohana life might equip them with Life-knowledge that modern-day fragmented families don’t possess? In that case then who is the one ill-equipped for the future?