Thursday, August 5, 1999

Transitional housing project
bothers Manoa inn owner

By Harold Morse


Theresa Wery says it's upsetting to awake in the morning to screaming children or domestic fights at neighboring Vancouver House.

Wery, who owns the bed-and-breakfast Manoa Valley Inn, told the Manoa Neighborhood Board last night, "It's a big problem for me."

The Manoa Neighborhood Board discussed the transitional housing project last night at Noelani School.

Wery has a cottage next to Vancouver House she can't rent without lowering the rent considerably, she said. Though she's been advised to call police, it's embarrassing to have police come and disturbing to as many as 16 guests at any one time, she said.

"I should call the police at least three times a week," she added.

People down but not quite out who are making the transition from homelessness get help at Vancouver House, at 2019 Vancouver Drive near the University of Hawaii.

It houses 100 people from some 30 families that include about 60 children. In two-parent families at least one parent has to be a college student or going to attend next term, and the other parent has to work. Residents must strive to get on their feet.

"For the most part, all of our families are engaged in college-level schooling," said Julie Keim, social services director, Homeless Solutions, a nonprofit management organization running the transitional housing facility for the city. "There are no stay-at-home moms. There are no stay-at-home dads."

"Everyone has to be inside their units by 10," Keim said. A building manager lives on the site. Wery said she has been in touch with him about the noise and is willing to work with the facility.

The board voted to recommend against permitting Vancouver House to go in at its present location April 5, 1995. Although some board members remain critical, others complimented the operation.

The facility won necessary permits and has been in operation since early January. Keim said strict rules are meant to be enforced. "I've already evicted one (noisy) family," she said.

The college-oriented families are not all involved with UH, she said.

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