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At journey’s end, stability and a home

  • KRYSTLE MARCELLUS / KMARCELLUS@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Charles Lopes cradles his 9-month-old baby, Kane, at the Institute for Human Services family dorm in Iwilei. Lopes and his wife, Momi, along with six of their children, recently moved into transitional housing at Weinberg Village in Waimanalo. “We came to the shelter five days before Kane was born. It’s been really hard. But at least he gets to take his first steps in a house,” said Momi.
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One of the goals of the Institute for Human Services’ emergency shelter in Iwilei is to move residents into permanent housing. The journey of the Lopes family —from addiction, unemployment, separation and homelessness to a transitional home in Weinberg Village in Waimanalo — illustrates that with a lot of work and commitment, that goal is attainable.

Stories by Allison Schaefers
aschaefers@staradvertiser.com

Photography by Krystle Marcellus
kmarcellus@staradvertiser.com

ABOUT THE SERIES

MONDAY, SEPT. 8, 2014 One family’s journey from homelessness to the Institute for Human Services emergency shelter to more-permanent housing illustrates the many struggles that people on the street face. The Lopes family started a new chapter of their lives in Weinberg Village in Waimanalo this summer, but not before overcoming addiction, depression, unemployment and family separation. "My hope is that we will be able to take this experience and start over," says 18-year-old Ka’uhane Lopes.

TUESDAY, SEPT. 9, 2014 The cycle of homelessness can be hard to break. Almost 10 percent of homeless families who stayed in emergency shelters and 25 percent of individuals returned less than a year after getting permanent housing, according to the 2013 Homeless Services Utilization Report. Advocates say more affordable-housing units, not more shelter space, is what Hawaii needs to significantly reduce homelessness.

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