Family desperate for housing after fire claimed Wahiawa home - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Family desperate for housing after fire claimed Wahiawa home

Kanakaole Ohana Kanakaole Ohana
Kathy Kanakaole Kathy Kanakaole
Lambert Kanakaole Lambert Kanakaole

A hotel room might not be where the Kanakaole family expected to spend their Thanksgiving. But they're making the best of it.

Four weeks ago, a fire claimed almost everything they owned including all of Lambert Kanakaole's medical supplies.  Doctors had to amputate his leg last year.  He's currently on dialysis three days a week.

"It's just been hard on him physically.  Hard on me emotionally," said Kathy Kanakaole.

On top of tending to Lambert's medical needs, Kathy and her daughter have been frantically working to find a new place.  They've applied for several units and contacted service providers all over Oahu.   Kathy even called the mayor's office to see what options are out there to keep her family off the street.

"First priority they say is vets.  Second priority is homeless families and basically third priority is disabled people.  I don't understand that.  Someone who can't walk, can't get out of his chair.  They're just going to leave us like this," said Kathy Kanakaole.

Although staying at Best Western is getting too expensive, the Kanakaole family is not looking for a handout.  They can afford $1,300 a month in rent.   The place just needs to be on the ground floor and big enough for a 30-inch wheelchair to pass through the front door.

Money from a Go Fund Me page someone set up for them has helped them stay in the hotel this long but they know time is running out.

"It's just getting really scary at this point.  Not knowing.  It's just really really hard," said Kathy Kanakaole.

Although Lambert's doctors are on the windward side of the island they'd be willing to move anywhere they could afford.

"Doesn't matter if he can get to the bathroom or bedroom.  We worked with it with the house that burned.  We just need a house where we can live and be happy again," said Kathy Kanakaole.

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