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PŪLAMA OLA KAUHALE IMPACT GOES BEYOND RESPITE PATIENTS

Office of the Governor Press Releases, Aug 2, 2023

HONOLULU – Pūlama Ola Kauhale closed out its second month and remained full as any vacancies were quickly filled by new patients. The medical respite facility, which processes intake through urban Honolulu hospital referrals for homeless patients, opened in late May and has quickly become a place of healing for people, both for patients housed there and other unhoused people in the Capitol District.

Project Vision Hawaiʻi (PVH), which operates the kauhale, says more than 408 showers have been used by the broader Capitol District community. The 10-bed facility has also had 15 total intakes and 5 patient discharges. PVH continues to process referrals for admittance as space opens.

“We don’t want to see anyone suffering. That is part of our goal,” said Governor Josh Green, M.D. “The intention of this project was to not only to create a healing space for our unhoused neighbors and relieve pressure from hospitals, but to also help houseless people in the Capitol District with much-needed support services.”

Beyond showers and restroom services, PVH has deployed its social support team to aid houseless community members within the Capitol District with resource connections and medicine.

“We are grateful to have a partner like Project Vision committed to the operation of the kauhale in a way that expands beyond its front doors,” said James Koshiba, the Governor’s Coordinator on Homelessness. “During my team’s regular outreach in the Capitol District, we’ve encountered people who told us that having access to showers has helped them get cleaned up for work. Others have received medical help from Project Vision for wounds or other conditions that would have otherwise landed them in the ER.”

While the medical respite is having important impacts, Koshiba says his office is now focused on creating kauhale that provide long-term, deeply affordable places for housing and healing people on the street. The Green Administration’s goal is to establish a minimum of 12 kauhale projects over the next three years, with six on Oʻahu and two each in Hawaiʻi, Maui, and Kauaʻi counties.

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View this Video from James Koshiba:  James_8.2 Release.mp4

To learn more about the State of Hawaiʻi’s Kauhale Initiative, or to see how you can get involved, visit homelessness.hawaii.gov/kauhale.

About the Statewide Office on Homelessness and Housing Solutions: The Statewide Office on Homelessness and Housing Solutions works closely with the Governor and his cabinet, to develop policies and programs to end homelessness. Working with community partners, counties, and other government agencies, SOHHS designs, tests, and evaluates innovative approaches to address homelessness in Hawai‘i. The office also identifies and addresses gaps in the homeless service system; maintains a homelessness data clearinghouse, and coordinates the Hawai‘i Interagency Council on Homelessness.

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