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Children at Waianae homeless encampment learn sign language to speak to deaf child

WAIANAE (KHON2) - It takes a village to raise a child.

That's certainly the case for Puu Honua Waianae, the homeless encampment next to Waianae Boat Harbor.

Nearly 200 people, including families and the elderly, live in the encampment.

Khyroe Sale is 10 years old. He enjoys hanging with his friends and riding his bike, and he happens to be deaf.

"I've never met anybody deaf before. It was definitely introducing me to a whole new world," said Josiah Coria.

Coria's non-profit, Tyrell's Angels, provides resources for the children in the homeless village. He noticed Khyroe was struggling to communicate with others.

"I didn't really know how to approach it. Like everything in life I just Googled it," he admitted. "And I went from there. I found somebody teaching sign language in Hawaii."

He took lessons and learned American Sign Language. Coria then taught 30 kids in the village how to sign, so Khyroe could carry conversations.

"I'm happy everyone learned ASL," signed Khyroe, who attends the Waikiki School for the Deaf and Blind.  

Khyroe, Coria says, is a happy, well-adjusted kid, despite his surroundings.

"His parents do work, but the cost of living is very expensive, especially on this island. They do plan on hopefully one day getting back on their feet, only looking at this as a temporary solution," explained Coria.

While his family saves enough money to live in a house again, Khyroe continues to do what 10 year old's do, surrounded with love from the village... because he says, that's all he needs.

"It's fun getting to know somebody like Khyroe who doesn't let anything stop him. Somebody who's deaf, you feel sorry for them. But you see the cool things he's able to accomplish. Being houseless, being deaf, he's an inspiring kid to a lot of people," said Coria.


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