Work toward a car-sleeping plan that will be successful

The recently proposed pilot plan to open South Maui Community Park at night for car-sleeping brings up more questions than it answers. The Maui News article (Nov. 26) stated that the park-based program would cost nothing to start, but any program will most certainly have costs and consequences.

A park-based program would place the overwhelming burden on the backs of the limited parks department staff and would inconvenience both the homeless families and the general public that use the park facilities until the normal 10 p.m. closing.

Maybe there is an opportunity to use county-owned property at some location near the park for a well-thought-out pilot program offering real solutions and not just a place to park for eight hours overnight. New funding would be mandatory to cover cleaning and services like security to keep the occupants and their stuff safe. Rules and regulations need to be addressed, including concerns about cooking, generators, propane, trash pickup and many other issues.

Let’s do this right and give the homeless families a reasonable chance to prosper and not just add to the homeless camping issues that already exist in our county parks. We must work toward a pilot program that will allow families and the working homeless a secure place to stay with shower and adequate bathroom facilities. School-age children should be able to attend school clean, dressed and after a safe night’s sleep with something for breakfast.

We support every effort that helps forward such a goal.

Bob and Lis Richardson