Construction underway on Kakaako temporary homeless shelter

Local News

More help is on the way for Oahu’s homeless, as construction just kicked off on a new temporary transitional shelter near Kakaako Waterfront Park.

The shelter is being built out of a 5,000-square foot maintenance shed formerly used by the Hawaii Community Development Authority.

Once it’s complete, it should be able to house about 60 people, or 15 families at a time, with a stay of no longer than of 90 days. The shelter will serve as an entry point to connect families to longer-term transitional or permanent housing. The shelter is expected to serve a total of 240 individuals over the course of one year.

One homeless man in the area, Jessy Luther, said “I think that’s a good idea, ’cause it’s gonna all of us here that’s in this situation we’re in. Right now, its kinda hard for all of us to afford rent, mortgage, food, and all that you name it.”

The repurposed building has existing water and sewer infrastructure and is near public transportation and social services.

Construction Engineers and the Department of Accounting and General Services staff will also repair the roof, design and construct the interior and paint the facility. The estimated cost of construction and renovation of the shed is $750,000.

In addition to the shed, the state will also install two portable trailers onsite to serve as office space for the shelter service provider.

The Department of Human Services is currently engaged in conversations with service providers to get their feedback on shelter design and programming. The department will solicit bids from service providers in mid-December.

Construction and service provider selection are scheduled to be completed by February 2016.

The temporary shelter is expected to be in operation for two years after it opens.

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