Hawaii is hoping to take the burden off its welfare system by saying aloha to its 17,000 homeless residents.
The state will offer one-way tickets home to any eligible homeless person to anywhere in the continental United States.
Hawaii has allotted $100,000 for a three year trial run of the so-called ‘return-to-home’ program, which could also even offer participants beds on cruise ships bound for their homes.
The sum set aside for the program may sound like a lot, but supporters say most of the state’s homeless won’t be taking advantage.
‘It’s fractional,’ state Representative John Mizuno told Hawaii News Now. ‘It’s not for 5,000 homeless people. It’s going to be a handful of homeless people that we send home … to their support unit.’
The goal, supporters say, is to take pressure off the state’s overburdened shelter system.
Representative Rida Cabanilla told Honolulu Civil Beat that her decision to support the program came down to simple math.