More than 50 volunteers, including fire department recruits, helped build dozens of emergency shelters today on Hawaii island to shelter “the most vulnerable homeless individuals.”
The volunteers, with guidance from HPM Building Supply, constructed 32 8-feet by 10-feet shelters for the Hale Hanakahi Emergency Shelter facility located at the county’s NAS Pool parking lot. Each of the units can accommodate up to two people and will be available for occupancy next week, according to a news release from Mayor Harry Kim’s office.
“It’s great to have the Fire Department, Public Works and HPM come together for this community project,” Kim said in the news release. “They’re doing this in a wonderful spirit of community, and it’s really special.”
The facility is for vulnerable individuals who are “frail, elderly or have pre-existing conditions.” There are 40 individuals who have been identified as eligible to stay at the facility.
The facility has been approved by the state and is using Ohana Zone funding. The shelters and operations costs are an estimated $200,000.
HOPE Services Hawaii and the Neighborhood Place of Puna are partnering up to deliver around-the-clock shelter monitoring services, “grab and go” meals and laundry services. They will also help coordinate on-site mental health services and connect participants to appropriate permanent housing situations.
“We are grateful for the County’s leadership in making this happen,” said HOPE Services Hawaii CEO Brandee Menino.