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Wednesday, December 17, 2008
State dedicates last homeless transitional facilities
By Gov. Linda Lingle @ 9:50 PM :: 8757 Views :: Homelessness

(The last installment of the program shut down by the legislature last session.--ED)

Final Two Shelters Developed Under Governor Lingle’s Emergency Proclamation Provide Temporary Housing, Hope for Hundreds of Families and Individuals

HONOLULU – Governor Linda Lingle today participated in the dedication and blessing of two transitional facilities for homeless families and individuals along O‘ahu’s Leeward Coast. The two facilities – Kumuhonua in Kalaeloa and Ulu Ke Kukui in Mā‘ili – are the final homeless transitional shelters to be developed under an emergency proclamation issued by Governor Lingle in 2006 to address the health and safety crisis resulting from so many people living in parks and on beaches along O‘ahu’s Leeward Coast.
The official opening of the two facilities also builds upon the Lingle-Aiona Administration’s ongoing efforts to work collaboratively with the community, nonprofit service providers, businesses, the military and other partners to find solutions to homelessness.
“I can’t think of a better gift for the holidays than the gift of hope that these two transitional facilities will bring to the families and individuals who will call them their temporary home,” said Governor Lingle.  “Together with our partners in the community, we have made significant progress in addressing the homeless crisis along O‘ahu’s Leeward Coast and in other parts of our state.  Families, including hundreds of children, have received safe shelter as well as social services and an outpouring of community support to help them gain the skills and confidence they need to transition out of homelessness and into permanent housing.”
“Homelessness is a problem we need to be focused on, no matter what the local or national economic news may be,” said State Comptroller Russ Saito, who is also the state’s homeless solutions coordinator.  “At the same time, we need to continue our efforts on increasing the availability of affordable housing and ensuring that the state’s plan to bring 5,000 affordable homes into the market over the next five years moves forward.”
Kumuhonua – Kalaeloa
Kumuhonua is a 70-unit transitional housing facility located in a three-story, former military building (Building 36) at Kalaeloa that previously served as military enlisted quarters.  It will accommodate up to 145 individuals and couples, who will have access to supportive social services and programs.
Renovations to the building included converting existing rooms into common kitchens, food storage areas, a computer room, and laundry room; renovating office and staff restrooms; renovating stairways and ramps; installing metal stairway enclosures for safety; constructing accessible parking stalls; repainting interiors and the building exterior; and performing plumbing and electrical work.  The total cost of the project was $2,826,995. 
The building was originally slated for the University of Hawai‘i, but the university decided it did not need it.  The U.S. Navy agreed to an interim lease with the Hawai‘i Community Development Authority, the redevelopment authority for Kalaeloa, which leased the building to the state Hawai‘i Public Housing Authority (HPHA).
The HPHA will oversee the project and has contracted the Honolulu Community Action Program (HCAP) to provide social services and operate the facility on a day-to-day basis.  HPHA also operates three other transitional facilities in Kalaeloa – Onemalu, which opened in 2001; Hale Ula Pono, a shelter for those with mental illness, which opened in 2004; and Onelau‘ena, which opened in 2006.
Ulu Ke Kukui in Mā‘ili
Ulu Ke Kukui, formerly Villages of Mā‘ili, is a transitional housing project for the Leeward Coast, which includes a large contingent of Native Hawaiian families.  The project includes five, two-story transitional housing buildings with 16 units each for a total of 80 units that can accommodate up to 300 people. It also includes a community learning center building with administrative offices, adult classrooms, a kitchen, dining/multi-purpose room, and a children’s center with classrooms.  There is also a receiving home named Ho‘omalu O Na Kamali‘i for children temporarily removed from abusive environments.
It is located on a 6.23-acre portion of the 89-acre former Voice of America property in Mā‘ili.  The land is in the process of being conveyed from the federal government to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL).
The total cost of the project is $14,857,000, which includes $11,175,000 in state funds, a donation of $2,557,000 from Kamehameha Schools for the community learning center, and a donation of $1,125,000 from the Wood Family for the receiving home.  In addition, DHHL has given a 10-year gratis lease to the Hawai‘i Public Housing Authority.  The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is also contributing operational funds for the children’s center and Ko Olina Development has donated playground equipment for the children’s center.
Stanford Carr Development partnered with the state to develop the project at no profit to the company as the developer.  In 2006, following the Governor’s emergency proclamation, Stanford Carr responded to the state’s request for interest for any company, organization or agency interested in playing a role in finding solutions to the homeless problem.  Carr volunteered to develop this project as a community service.
Alternative Structures International has been contracted to operate Ulu Ke Kukui.
Homeless Solutions Progress
The Governor’s emergency proclamation for O‘ahu’s Leeward Coast, which expires on December 31, 2008, has allowed for the accelerated development of three other homeless shelters and transitional facilities.  In October 2006, the state opened the Onelau‘ena transitional shelter in another former military building at Kalaeloa that can accommodate approximately 200 people.  Five months later in March 2007, the state opened the Pai‘olu Ka‘iāulu transitional facility in Wai‘ānae to house up to 300 people.  In addition, this past August, families began moving into the Kahikolu ‘Ohana Hale ‘O Wai‘anae, a 72-unit transitional and affordable housing rental apartment project developed through a partnership between the State of Hawai‘i, the Hawai‘i Coalition of Christian Churches and the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Inc.  Since the three facilities opened, they have provided 1,902 people who had previously been living on beaches and in parks along the Leeward Coast with a safe place to stay as well as services to help them move toward self-sufficiency.
In May 2006, a separate emergency declaration enabled the State to open the 300-bed Next Step transitional shelter in Kaka‘ako to accommodate homeless families and individuals who had been displaced by the City’s abrupt closure of Ala Moana Beach Park. The emergency proclamation enabled state crews to repair and renovate a vacant warehouse on an accelerated basis and open the facility in six days.  In October 2006, the Waipahu Lighthouse Outreach Shelter, funded by a $402,895 grant from the State’s Homeless Stipend Program, opened its doors and serves between 85 to 100 people nightly.
On Kaua‘i, the state worked with the administration of the late Mayor Bryan Baptiste and Kaua‘i Economic Opportunity to open Mana‘olana, the island’s first emergency shelter, last November as well as the Ka Uapo transitional housing facility at the former state courthouse building in Līhu‘e last December.

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