HONOLULU (KHON2) — Construction wrapped up on the City’s $17.2 million Affordable Housing and Homeless Resource Center in February 2022. Now, the facility sits empty behind locked gates. According to the City, the project started under the previous administration, which had a different idea for how it should be used.

“The issue is the funding that was used. So when you have certain colors of money involved in the building, then you have to respect those colors of money,” said Anton Krucky, Honolulu Department of Community Services Director. “As example, you might have a requirement like affordable housing. So if it’s affordable housing, it can’t be a shelter.”

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The Homeless Resource Center includes a 27-unit affordable housing section, a shelter and an industrial kitchen to serve those in need. The City is hoping an agreement with the state will get the affordable housing units running while is secures multiple sets of funding for the other features.

The City told KHON2 there’s no timeframe of when the Homeless Resource Center might open. This comes at a time where the need for facilities like this is in high demand.

“This is an area that I think is one we do need to prioritize,” said Ryan Catalani, Family Promise of Hawaii Executive Director. “When we’re able to provide the services and shelter and get families back into stable housing as quick as possible, that only improves the outcomes for the children, for their families and for our community going forward.”

According to the 2022 Point in Time Count, nearly 4,000 people were experiencing houselessness on Oahu and only 40 percent were sheltered. The City says it is finding other ways to help with shelter demand, like building tiny villages. Three sites have been chosen in town, Waimanalo and Waianae with the help of $11 million in congressionally directed money.

“It’s a way in their journey to get ready to be more productive. We can work with them on jobs. We can work with training and all that, and the goal is to be in their own housing,” said Krucky.

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As far as the Homeless Resource Center, the City is working with its legal counsel to take the appropriate steps to move the project forward.