HONOLULU — Hoping to save taxpayers millions of dollars in welfare costs, Hawaii is going to offer some of the state’s estimated 17,000 homeless a one-way ticket back to the U.S. mainland.
According to the Honolulu Civil Beat, Hawaii’s legislators voted recently to begin a pilot three-year “return-to-home” program in the state Department of Human Services budget.
In able to get a ticket home, the homeless must complete a background check, be mentally sound and have what the bill calls “sufficient personal hygiene.” An individual can only enroll in the program once.
Supporters of the program say it will allow homeless people to return to their friends and family on the mainland, while critics argue the program could be easily abused and that it’s not adequately funded to do any good.
Lawmakers acknowledge that it’s hardly enough money to run the program for one year, let alone three.
No word yet on when the free trips will start.