Institute for Human Services to operate Hale Mauliola transitional modular housing on Sand Island
In addition, city launches innovative new partnerships to provide cultural integration to COFA populations, provide access to legal services, offer rental assistance, and address mental illness in Kalihi/Palama, Kapalama, Iwilei, and Chinatown
News Release from City and County of Honolulu, July 3, 2015
Honolulu – Mayor Kirk Caldwell and City Councilman Ron Menor announced today that the successful proposer to serve as the operator of the Hale Mauliola transitional modular housing center on Sand Island is the Institute for Human Services (IHS), the largest homeless service provider on Oahu. IHS will be responsible for the operation and management of the facility as well as the coordination of case management, supportive services, and housing and shelter referrals. IHS is also partnering with Helping Hands Hawaii to assist with clients’ transition into permanent housing.
“My administration has made homelessness a top priority,” said Mayor Caldwell. “Hale Mauliola will provide a new start for many of our homeless residents as well as offer a new approach to addressing homelessness on Oahu. We thank IHS for taking on this latest challenge to help homeless people transition into care.”
“Hale Mauliola is a new model for Oahu that is economical, community-focused, and goes beyond a traditional emergency or transitional shelter,” said Institute for Human Services Executive Director Connie Mitchell. “IHS case managers will help clients achieve a higher sense of values, learn proper lifestyles, and work together to sustain their lives through employment and healthcare.”
Hale Mauliola has a low barrier to entry, and the goal will be to transition homeless into more permanent programs within about two months. Unlike many shelters and apartment buildings, Hale Mauliola will be pet friendly (as long as the pets are not dangerous), because pets have been a barrier to homeless entering shelters.
IHS was awarded the $850,000 contract to run the facility for one year. The request for proposals for a contractor to install the modular units closes on July 8. The City and County of Honolulu Department of Facility Maintenance will begin site work next week. They will install fencing and remove kiawe trees, shrubs, and trash.
The city modified the original Hale Mauliola proposal announced last month after hearing feedback from the community. While the original proposal called for only single-person units, the city now plans to include both one and two-person units in the modular buildings in order to accommodate homeless couples. The plan now calls for 39 individual units and 24 two-person units, meaning the facility will have a total capacity of 87 people at any given time. Only adults will be allowed at first, but the city will consider including children later in the pilot project.
The facility will include the modular housing, modular office space, and hygiene facilities. The facility will be a point of entry into Honolulu’s system of homeless services known as the Continuum of Care, and be a centralized location where homeless individuals can go for basic services and begin the transition out of homelessness. The site will feature 24-hour security and staffing. IHS expects to serve approximately 250 homeless persons during the first year of operations.
Community Assistance Program partnership
Mayor Caldwell also announced an innovative new partnership with local service providers to address chronic homelessness specifically in the Kalihi, Palama, Kapalama, Iwilei, and downtown/Chinatown neighborhoods that have been particularly impacted.
The city is providing $500,000 to IHS to support this Community Assistance Program.
IHS is partnering with Mental Health Kokua / Safe Haven to lead outreach efforts in the targeted neighborhoods. They will also operate a group home to provide bridge housing to about one dozen clients with severe and persistent mental illness.
Volunteer Legal Services of Hawaii will assist with the legal needs of project clients including help in obtaining government identification, clearing bench warrants, and providing representation in Veterans Court.
St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church and We Are Oceania, A Program of Partners in Development Foundation will provide family case management and interpretation services to effectively serve Compact of Free Association (COFA) nation originating populations experiencing homelessness.
Jocelyn Howard, Program Director at We Are Oceania, speaks about plans under this new contract to provide cultural integration to homeless COFA populations
IHS will also use the funding to provide short term rental assistance, not to exceed 6 months, to households transitioning into permanent housing and will provide referrals to shelters and services to other clients. In total, the city expect this program to house a minimum of 50 homeless households.
“We’re grateful for this opportunity to partner with each other,” said Mitchell. “Each of us bring strengths, expertise, and the ability to leverage existing resources. This allows us to maximize outcomes and implement solutions that are economical, coordinated and sustainable.”
“Addressing homelessness is a community-wide effort requiring innovate solutions, and I thank our service providers for helping us move the needle,” said Mayor Caldwell.
Also speaking at today’s announcement were Mental Health Kokua Safe Haven Project Director Bill Hanrahan, St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church Father David Gierlach, We Are Oceania Program Director Jocelyn Howard, and Volunteer Legal Services of Hawaii Program Manager Justine Herrera. From the city, Department of Community Services Director Designate Gary Nakata, Department of Facility Maintenance Deputy Director Eduardo Manglallan, Office of Housing Executive Director Jun Yang, and Office of Strategic Development Director Sandy Pfund.
Hale Mauliola and the Community Assistance Program build on the city’s progress in addressing homelessness and chronic homelessness across Oahu. The city’s Housing First initiative was launched in November 2014 and has since housed 92 chronically homeless persons in 72 households. Overall homeless assistance programs funded or assisted by the City and County of Honolulu served 7,716 persons in fiscal year 2014.