STAR-BULLETIN / 2007
The tents of homeless people line some of the beaches near Maili.
Kauai homeless get shelter
The island's second facility consists of 19 transitional units
» Programs for needy get $7 million in grants
LIHUE » Some of Kauai's less fortunate families will be getting new places to live this Christmas, thanks to a county, state and nonprofit partnership.
Ka Uapo ("The Bridge") homeless program, dedicated Friday on the grounds of the former Lihue courthouse, is the second homeless shelter to open on former state land. Kauai's first homeless shelter, Manaolana, which can accommodate up to 39 people, opened just before Thanksgiving.
Officials cited the partnership between the state, county, and a nonprofit, Kauai Economic Opportunity, for creating Ka Uapo.
"It really warms my heart knowing that these families will have a roof over their heads until they can get back on their feet, especially during the holidays," said Kauai Mayor Bryan Baptiste in the news release.
The former courthouse building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, was renovated into 19 transitional housing units and will be converted back to office space when the permanent affordable housing units are constructed over the next two years, county officials said.
Kauai Economic Opportunity is running both homeless shelters and will also select the families for the projects. According to officials, KEO has identified 70 Kauai families that are working yet still cannot afford a place to live.
The participating families are required to develop plans to address their housing needs and financial plans, as well as develop a budget, make monthly deposits in a savings account, meet with a case manager and complete a training program.
Gov. Linda Lingle also announced that the administration is releasing $1 million in construction funds for 40 more affordable housing rental units at Kalepa Village in Hanamaulu.
The Kalepa Village project, which has 100 units already built and another 40 scheduled for completion in March 2008, is run by the county as a low-income rental complex.
Work on the 40 additional units is scheduled to begin in March and be completed by November, state officials said.
Programs for needy get $7 million in grants
Twenty-six homeless programs in Hawaii will receive more than $7 million in grants by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to a news release.
The Kalihi-Palama Health Center, Health Care for the Homeless Project and Mental Health Kokua were among the programs that received the largest amount in grants. The Kalihi-Palama Health Center received $1,895,208 for two programs and the Mental Health Kokua received $870,274.
Mental Health Kokua will use the money for Safe Haven, its transitional housing facility for the homeless, support services, medical and psychiatric services, ongoing case management and psycho-social rehabilitation activities.
In a written statement, Greg Payton, chief executive officer of Mental Health Kokua, said, "This generous funding saves the lives of many local homeless mentally ill, providing them the opportunity to begin again."
Other organizations that received grants include Steadfast Housing Development Corp., Catholic Charities Hawaii, the Salvation Army and the Institute for Human Services.
Nationwide, HUD is awarding $1.5 billion to nearly 6,000 housing and service programs.