HONOLULU (KHON2) – Plans to expand Kauai’s emergency and transitional homeless shelter are underway after a blessing was held on Friday. 

Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami said the blessing was for the completion of the Mana Olana Emergency and Transitional Shelter Improvement project at Kauai Economic Opportunity (KEO) in Lihue. 

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“We are grateful to our state, county, and federal partners, all stakeholders involved, and the entire KEO team for working collectively in our shared vision of serving our community in need,” said Mayor Derek S. K. Kawakami. 

He said this project eliminated the six independent septic systems that were aging and were becoming a problem. In return reducing future maintenance costs and protecting their groundwater integrity. 

“These improvements provide the foundation for KEO’s future expansion of their emergency and transitional homeless shelter, allowing them to increase available shelter beds and transitional housing units which is much needed on Kaua‘i,” said Kawakami. 

The project included a $690,000 wastewater system upgrade and a $50,000 project improving the transitional housing units and ADA upgrades to the administrative offices at KEO.

Kawakami said it connects the KEO facility to the municipal wastewater system for the recently upgraded area during the construction of the neighboring Kealaula Supportive Housing Project and the Pua Loke Street Workforce Housing Project, now renamed “Haupu View.”

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Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) funded this County initiative. Construction on this project started in February 2022 and ended recently in July.