The Lighthouse Outreach shelter in Waipahu will extend its hours thanks to state funds.
WAIPAHU, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
New state funding will allow an emergency shelter to upgrade its services to help tackle Oahu's homeless crisis. The Lighthouse Emergency Shelter in Waipahu provides clients with dinner and a place to sleep at night. Starting on November 2, the facility will be open 24 hours a day.
The state is evaluating its entire shelter system to reduce barriers for clients. More than 30 homeless campers from Kakaako have headed to the Waipahu facility in the past two months, according to officials. The clients have had to leave during the day when the shelter is closed.
"We hope that by this change in the hours of operation at Lighthouse Shelter, that we'll be able to better maximize the existing space and better meet the needs of individuals and families," said Scott Morishige, the governor's coordinator on homelessness.
"The more folks who stay in the shelter during the day, the more access our case managers will have to them, the more programs we'll be able to liaison with," explained shelter director William Hummel.
The exact amount of state funding is still being finalized. They money will pay for additional case managers and security personnel. The shelter will also provide breakfast. Hummel said adding showers is also a top priority.
A few campers from Kakaako have successfully moved from Lighthouse Shelter into a transitional shelter, according to Hummel. He said that some clients are still staying at the Waipahu facility, but most of them left for unknown reasons.
"There's always going to be a number of folks who just don't like being in shelters. We can't change that, but what we can do is increase the quality and improve the service we offer," Hummel said.
The shelter plans to reach out to the community for volunteer help and donations of dividers for the sleeping area. Hummel also hopes to secure additional funding from other sources to continue enhancing the services.