Kahauiki Homeless Village to add preschool, day care center
A proposed homeless village being developed by businessman Duane Kurisu may now include a preschool and day care.
HONOLULU - For the past several weeks, crews have been working on back filling part of a 13-acre parcel just along Nimitz Highway. It's in a flood zone and they have to level it out in order to build phase one of the homeless village.
That’s where you can expect to see Kahauiki Village take shape. It’s the first public private partnership of its kind.
"It's a great experiment. We want to see how it works because we are building a community," said Project Developer Mel Kaneshige.
Kaneshige said the work underway is to build up the site to nine feet. That's a tall order. But then, so is this out-of-the-box solution to Hawaii’s homeless crisis.
Businessman Duane Kurisu is driving the plantation-style village on state-owned land, with the city providing power water and sewer service. As the plans take shape so has the focus to break the cycle of homelessness.
Many of the squatters now in the area either along the stream banks or under the viaduct will likely not qualify for the rental project.
“It’s families exclusively. It's our belief that if we can target families we can make the biggest impact,” said Kaneshige.
Now, here's where the dream gets bigger. Kahauiki may now include a preschool and day care.
"As we got into this, and started thinking about what we needed to do, it became clear in order for this to be an effective village and for us to build a community, we needed to take care of the children," Kaneshige said.
The game plan calls for groundbreaking for the homes in early July. The modular homes which are coming from Japan are expected to arrive in October.
"Phase one will include 18 2-bedrooms and 12 1-bedrooms. We will have about 123 people. It will be 63 adults and 60 children," said Kaneshige.
Rents for the homes are tentatively expected to run between $725 to $900 a month. The hope is the Village will be ready for families to move in by the end of the year.
Until then, the Hawaii All Star Paintball operation is still open for business. Crews helped to relocate part of their field more makai while work is underway preparing the site for the housing complex.