Tuesday, February 5, 2002

Waipahu apartment
gets $800,000 grant

The complex for disabled people
uses special technology

Star-Bulletin staff

The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation Inc. has donated $800,000 to Independent Living Waipahu Inc., developer of a 24-unit apartment complex in Waipahu for physically disabled people.

The grant is for an endowment fund established to repair and maintain special technology and equipment at the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Hale Kuha'o.

Joyce Arizumi, president of the nonprofit living facility, said its goal is to raise $1.6 million "to ensure the viability of this innovative housing facility."

"This generous grant is a fantastic boost in these times," she said.

The grant makes a total of $2.4 million contributed by the foundation to the development of the 1-year-old complex.

The first of its kind in Hawaii, it is an independent home with 23 units that are rented. The resident manager lives with his family on the premises.

Tenants may receive assistance with personal care and housekeeping, which they arrange on their own. Their physical limitations are diverse, but "they all have one desire in common, and that is to live independently in the community," the facility said.

The endowment is to ensure that the technology integrated into the units works properly to enable tenants to enter the building and their own units with a proximity card.

In the units, countertops and tabletops with adjustable heights make them accessible for people in wheelchairs. Roll-in showers facilitate personal hygiene and caregiving.

Once in bed, tenants still have access to lights, windows, telephone, television, drapes and the door by voice commands through an environmental control unit.

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