Local developers, contractors on mission to ease homelessness in Hawaii
HomeAid Hawaii is a new non-profit made up of local developers and builders trying its hand at helping Hawaii's homeless crisis. It's taking three homeless service facilities in need of renovations under it's wing.
WAIKIKI, Hawaii - HomeAid Hawaii is a new non-profit made up of local developers and builders trying its hand at helping Hawaii's homeless crisis. It's taking three homeless service facilities in need of renovations under it's wing. The Youth Outreach drop-in center is one of the project's in line for help.
The facility on Keoniana Street in Waikiki is a place where homeless children and teenagers can go for basic services.
"When you're living on the street hot showers are a nice thing because otherwise it's a cold shower at the beach park. For some of them it's the only place they can chill on the couch, take a nap, watch a movie, it's a respite," said Alika Campbell, Program Coordinator at Youth Outreach.
Since YO opened in 1989 it's served close to a thousand people and is in need of a facelift.
"It's a building kind of held together with termites and duct tape in some places and if you had 40 teenagers come to your house four afternoons a week to hang out shower and do all that...well..." Campbell explained.
Fixing leaky faucets and upgrading electrical wiring isn't cheap. But HomeAid Hawaii's mission is to help cut down repair costs by bringing in some of the best in the industry.
"It's very rewarding and it's so simple that we're tapping into the natural resource which is the building community, their expertise, their materials, their supplies," said Nani Medeiros Executive Director, HomeAid Hawaii.
Renovation work and materials will be donated in an effort to reduce costs. Initial assessments for urgent work needed at YO racks up to about $20,000.
At the end of the day Campbell says the work needed will go a long way.
"I describe it as our job is to keep you (homeless youth) alive and healthy and talk to you about your options and then maybe you'll make different choices tomorrow, next week, next year," Campbell said.
Renovations are scheduled to start in three weeks and should be complete by June.
HomeAid Hawaii is also assisting The Institute of Human Services and Next Step Shelter.