30 homeless families on Oahu will have a place to call home next month
Kahauiki Village begins by featuring 30 one- and two-bedroom units.
Come January, 30 homeless families on O'ahu will have a place to call home.
Construction of affordable homes for Hawaii's homeless is nearly complete off Nimitz Highway.
30 units at Kahauiki Village are almost ready for tenants to move in.
The one and two bedroom homes feature high ceilings, a bathroom and kitchen equipped with appliances. Project organizers said all that's missing are the furnishings and hope the public can pitch in.
"What we're trying to do is give the families a start. A kitchen table or dining room table for them to have dinners around. Someplace for them to sit down. What we're trying to instill is a sense of community that this will be their home for as long as they need it," said Scott Kuioka of Kahauiki Village.
Work to build the modular homes started just six months ago and it's taken an army of volunteers. Keiki, kupuna and professional tradesman have all donated their time.
"The guys that are actually getting their hands dirty, picking up a shovel, pounding. It's all donated pro bono time. These guys are here seven days a week, sacrificing and volunteering their time away from their families," said Robert Kurisu, AIO Foundation.
Dale Maeda of Coastal Construction oversees the entire project. For him, seeing it through, is personal.
"When I was growing up in Hawaii there were hardly any homeless here at all. I would see maybe one or two guys homeless. Now there's a lot of people without work and opportunities. So creating something like this is special," said Maeda.
Each of the homes were shipped over from Japan. The units once housed victims of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.
Engineers from Japan that designed the emergency structures flew to Hawaii earlier this year to teach contractors how to put them together.
Kahauiki Village is a partnership between the city, state and AIO Foundation. The state owned parcel was transferred to the city to be leased to the foundation for the next ten years.
This is the first of six phases slated for the village. The project will roll out a total of 150 homes.
For more information on how you can help, click here.