Hawaii proposes to give homeless a one-way ticket out of the state

As the economy continues to stumble, homelessness has skyrocketed, leaving many states grappling with an expensive and delicate issue -- what to do with the growing population of people finding refuge in shelters, parks and the streets. Hawaii, where a recent census showed that the homeless population on the island of Oahu skyrocketed by 15% in one year, has come up with a creative yet controversial plan to deal with its homeless problem: ship them to another state.

Hawaii's government and many of its residents worry that the homeless encampments dotting its beaches sap precious state resources and scare away tourists -- a source of income that the state desperately relies on. Many support a proposal that the state pay to send some of its homeless population back to where they came from, provided there is someone to take them in. The rationale: Spending $300 for a one-way ticket to the West Coast is far cheaper than the $35,000 per year it costs to provide a homeless person with social services, according to the Associated Press.