Glossy photos of Honolulu high-rises grace the pages of magazines as state and city officials trumpet the revitalization of areas like Kakaako and Ala Moana. But if you ask Lila Marantz, a local financial advisor, parts of Honolulu look more like shanty towns overrun with homeless people.
“As I walk downtown every weekday, I see a reality vastly different than what is hyped. I see deplorable situations which I consider assaults to human dignity,” she wrote in a letter to Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “People live in tents in Thomas Square. I have seen women filthy, scantily clad in rags. I have seen drunken dirty men urinating publicly in broad daylight. I see litter on Iolani Palace grounds close to ‘hobo’ camps.”