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By News Release @ 3:25 PM :: 1239 Views :: Homelessness

GOVERNOR GREEN OPENS KA MALU KO‘OLAU KAUHALE FOR HOUSELESS INDIVIDUALS IN WINDWARD O‘AHU

News Release from Office of the Governor, February 9, 2024

KĀNE‘OHE, HAWAI‘I — Governor Josh Green, M.D., today celebrated the blessing and opening of the newly constructed Ka Malu Ko‘olau kauhale, or tiny home village, in Kāne‘ohe. It is part of Governor Green’s comprehensive approach to addressing housing and homelessness in all segments of our community. The name Ka Malu Ko‘olau was chosen through the guidance of area kūpuna, and honors the protection and safety of the Ko‘olau for our most vulnerable friends and neighbors in Windward O‘ahu. It is the second kauhale opened under his administration.

“Homelessness should not be accepted as normal in our society,” said Governor Green. “We are seeing that Hawai‘i’s communities are opening their eyes to those suffering around them and are coming together to support the kauhale effort. Some individuals have even come forward asking that we help their own loved ones and friends. I am glad to have them join me in saying, ‘yes in my backyard.’ Housing is healthcare, and this is truly the path forward for our state.”

The Ka Malu Ko‘olau kauhale will provide housing for people from the community who are houseless and will benefit from compassionate support in a welcoming, safe, stable, trauma-informed environment. This kauhale will provide housing for approximately 34 people at a time, including 24-7 security, intake/management staff, and peer support.

Residents will have restroom facilities, shower trailers, a laundry facility, and daily meals. Office space is provided for on-site care coordination. 

“Kauhale like this will serve unique community needs across the state,” said John Mizuno, statewide Homeless Coordinator for the Office of the Governor. “What we found for Ka Malu Ko‘olau, is that the community shared similar concerns for their homeless neighbors living on the streets and in encampments in the mountains. We all want safe places for ourselves and our families. Ka Malu Ko‘olau is the state’s solution to providing compassionate care to those most in need throughout Windward, O‘ahu.”

“All of us can attest to having witnessed this growth in the number of homeless people,” said respected Windward resident and community advocate Mahealani Cypher. “It is gratifying that this kauhale will serve our local homeless people first, because – in our view – that is where our need is the greatest. Homeless people here in our community are the brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, maybe even parents of island families. Our shared kuleana is to help those in need from our own community,” she said.

HomeAid Hawaiʻi is the state’s lead development partner who planned and constructed Ka Malu Ko‘olau  kauhale.  Through its network of builders and trades, HomeAid reduced the cost of construction and development by approximately $700,000 through pro bono labor and donated materials and supplies. The total cost of development is valued at $1.3 million. The site at 45-889 Po‘okela Street, being a baseyard for the state Department of Transportation, already had most of the needed infrastructure.

Project Vision Hawaiʻi (PVH) is the state’s operating partner for Ka Malu Ko‘olau . It will provide daily meals, case management services, 24-7 intake/management staff, as well as 24-7 security.  PVH will coordinate with relevant stakeholders including, but not limited to, government entities, community organizations, churches, and others to meet the needs of the community and the people served by Ka Malu Ko‘olau. 

Kauhale are communal living spaces, often envisioned as tiny homes with shared bathrooms and kitchens; though kauhale could also be created in an existing apartment, dormitory, or office building. The defining feature of a kauhale is that it functions like a village, with people taking care of the space and each other. It is sustainably affordable because over time, people depend on their community for support, rather than solely on professional services. Through kauhale like Ka Malu Ko‘olau, Governor Green has a goal of decreasing statewide homelessness by 50 percent in his first term in office.

Photos of today’s event, courtesy Office of the Governor, will be uploaded here.

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SA: Do you support the Ka Malu Koolau kauhale in Kaneohe?

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