An affordable housing project for homeless families off Nimitz Highway welcomed its first residents Friday.
Cheers of joy and appreciation from Dalgene Kaauwai and her family as they move into their new home at Kahauiki Village.
She says she been through a lot over the years, falling on hard times and struggling to make ends meet. But now, a rainbow at the end of the tunnel.
"That is what I'm most grateful for, to have a place I can call my own and move forward from here," Kaauwai said.
Kaauwai's first house guest: Governor David Ige.
Kaauwai is one of 30 families to move into the first phase of the affordable housing project.
Located on more than 11-acres of land off Nimitz highway, the construction took just six months to complete.
Each one and two bedroom unit is powered by solar energy.
Total cost of the first phase was $12.4 million. $4 million of that came from the city the rest from private funds.
The state is also providing the land for a dollar a year and many volunteers donated their time and materials to help build the community.
"This is what can happen when Hawaii puts their head together, with heart, with mind and resources without any expectation for personal gain," Duane Kurisu, AIO Foundation said.
"There are still people in Hawaii that show what Hawaii is all about. Aloha from the heart for the people," Kaauwai said.
When Kahauiki Village is complete, it'll offer over 150 families a place to call home.
"I have a safe place for my other grand children to come and spend time with us now and I don't have to worry," Kaauwai said.
Rent for a one-bedroom unit is $725 a month, $900 for a two-bedroom.
The community also includes on-site child care, allowing parents and guardians to work regular job hours.
Kahauiki Village will provide long-term housing and opportunity for more than half of Oahu's homeless families currently living in transitional housing.