Tom Brower, a five-term Democratic representative in the Aloha state, took on a new method in dealing with homelessness that turned more than just a few heads. Towards the end of November, Brower received a large amount of publicity for roaming the streets with a sledgehammer looking for homeless people in order to literally smash their possessions. According the New York Daily News, Brower was so fed up with homeless people in his district that he considered this act a “one-man crusade” to rid the district of homelessness entirely.
While his crusade may now be over, the remains off shopping carts and other items used by homeless people are left in his destructive wake. As he explained to Honolulu’s Star Advertiser, he’s “disgusted” with homeless people. Brower told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser about his own personal brand of “justice”: “If I see shopping carts that I can’t identify, I will destroy them so they can’t be pushed on the streets.”
As if destroying personal items were not enough, Brower was also on a mission to wake those he found sleeping and tell them to sleep somewhere else. “If someone is sleeping at night on the bus stop, I don’t do anything, but if they are sleeping during the day, I’ll walk up and say, ‘Get moving.’”
According to thinkprogress.org, Hawaii has the highest rate of homelessness in the country. Bower’s less than compassionate approach matches that of Hawaiin lawmakers that recently approved $100,000 over the next two years to pay for one-way flights off the islands to any of the state’s estimated 17,000 homeless persons.