Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show FEMA 'Concentration Camp' In Hawaii -- It Shows Housing Development For Homeless Veterans

Fact Check

  • by: Kaiyah Clarke
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show FEMA 'Concentration Camp' In Hawaii -- It Shows Housing Development For Homeless Veterans U.S. Vet Homes

Does a social-media video show a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) "concentration camp" in Hawaii? No, this is not true: This video, according to a FEMA spokesperson, shows a project with which FEMA is not affiliated at all. The project built tiny homes for homeless and at-risk U.S. veterans.

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) on Facebook published on September 14, 2023. The post included a reposted TikTok video with a video recording that displayed a news clip featuring tiny homes with a caption that opened:

FEMA Camps

The text below the video recording in the post reads:

Hawaii news on strange concentration camp. What the actual fuck is this shite.

This is what the post looked like on Instagram at the time of the writing of this fact check:

FEMA Concentration Camp Images.png

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken On Fri Sep 22 17:40:15 2023 UTC)

After the 14-second mark in the post, a portion of the video displays a separate video derived from the website seen in the top right-hand corner of the post called "TimTruth.com." An online search for social media user Tim Truth revealed this YouTube account, featuring various purported documentaries. Lead Stories previously debunked one of these documentaries, in which Boston police were falsely accused of smashing their own police cruiser to fabricate evidence.

Patrick Boland, representative of FEMA Hawaii, told Lead Stories via email on September 22, 2023, that this video does not show FEMA "camps" and instead displays disinformation:

FEMA has no such camps anywhere, let alone in Hawaii, where we are doing everything we can to assist survivors of the West Maui Wildfires. Currently, we are aiding the State of Hawaii through the American Red Cross Sheltering program to provide Hotel lodging for over 7,000 Survivors of this Disaster.

The Tiny home community referred to [in this video] is a US VETs 501C-3 project ( Veterans Nonprofit for At-Risk and Homeless Veterans (usvets.org) that FEMA has had no role nor participated in whatsoever.

The video seen in the post derived from this April 6, 2022, broadcast, which featured the exact chyron seen in the news clip in the post titled, "U.S. Vets Hawaii hosts event for tiny home residents at Kama'okū Kauhale." The caption underneath this report reads:

U.S. Vets Hawaii hosted a "welcome home" event for the first residents at Kama'okū Kauhale, the new tiny homes community in Kalaeloa.

The report did not mention FEMA at any point.

The community directly borders the U.S.VETS facility.

Lead Stories contacted the Hawaii Office of the Lieutenant Governor for the state's response to the claim about the FEMA "concentration camp," and will update this fact check if a response is received.

Additional Lead Stories fact checks of claims that mention FEMA and Hawaii can be read here.

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  Kaiyah Clarke

Kaiyah Clarke is a fact-checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Florida A&M University with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and is currently pursuing an M.S. in Journalism. When she is not fact-checking or researching counter-narratives in society, she is often found reading a book on the New York Times Bestseller List.

Read more about or contact Kaiyah Clarke

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