Since its unveiling last year, the transitional housing center for the homeless on Sand Island has gone through some changes.
Dubbed “Hawaii’s first housing navigation service center,” Hale Mauliola has new bedroom amenities, like solar charging stations, room lighting and personal storage lockers.
There’s also a new structure that guests can socialize in.
At a grand opening and blessing Monday, resident Clayton Gohier said “I love it, love everything that’s happening here today, because now everyone that lives in here has a chance of having their own place that they can call their own home.
“This is the opportunity that I had. I got hurt, cooped up in here, and it’s like being reborn,” he said. “I got a chance of having something.”
The housing is just temporary and is a place for the homeless to rest while they look for more permanent housing.
The Institute for Human Services opened the center to its first set of residents on Nov. 16, 2015. The facility has since served 173 individuals, 61 of which have successfully transitioned into stable housing situations with an average length of stay of 50 days.
Of the 173 individuals served, 14 were pet owners and 58 were couples. Twelve had been living in cars prior to entry and responded to outreach as part of a recent campaign focused on homeless living in cars.
Residents are provided with a full array of homeless services including housing placement assistance, employment support services, case management, pet screenings and resources, and access to specialized behavioral and health services. Facility amenities include a barbeque area, picnic tables for outdoor recreation, phone and mail service, daily meals, 63 privately locked units (39 individual units, 4 ADA units and 19 two-person units), fresh towels, toiletries and bed linens, free parking, clean showers and bathroom facilities, bike racks and 24/7 security.
The city awarded IHS the $850,000 contract to operate Hale Mauliola for one year, ending November 2016, and is renewable.