First look at Sand Island containers for homeless
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The wait is over. The first look inside the shipping containers-turned-homes is here. The pastel yellow and orange shipping containers are the first living units installed at Hale Mauliola on Sand Island. They're meant to help combat Hawaii's housing epidemic.
One by one they're put in place taking up two 8-by-20-foot spaces on this one acre lot. City officials say both units are ADA compliant and each can house two people.
"By the surveys we have to allow for accessibility for the handicap people and we knew looking at the population of the homeless all over the island," said Deputy Director of Facility Maintenance Ed Manglallan.
The project, a little over a year old, was put on hold until this summer because of questions about the land.
"There were speculations before that the soil was contaminated, so we waited for the state department of health to test the soil," said Manglallan.
The results -- nothing beyond the allowable limits for hazardous material. So, crews cleared the overgrown brush and added a fence and light poles.
Crews had to add about six inches of gravel to level off this area and to add a proper storm drain. The gravel used is recycled asphalt paving collected from roadwork around the city.
The material makes for mobility so crews can move the containers if needed. By December, there will be 25 of these, half offering three bedrooms and the other ones will offer two bedrooms. Each one is insulated and coated with heat resistant paint to keep occupants cool.
"If you're outside in the sun and it's 90 degrees. If you go under a shade tree, it's 85 degrees. Well, we've got something here that's even better than that," Chris Thometz of Container Storage Company of Hawaii.
Container Storage Company of Hawaii fitted the spaces with code access doors, windows and vinyl flooring for easy cleanup.
"It's not the end solution. The end solution is obviously employment, housing but at least this gives them dignity and a place that they can comfortably you know rebuild their lives," said Thometz.
City officials expect to deliver all units by the end of the year providing temporary housing for up to 87 people.