State announces construction of new temporary homeless shelter in Kakaako

State announces plans for new temporary homeless shelter in Kakaako

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Homeless individuals in Kakaako will soon have another option for temporary transitional housing in the area, the state announced Tuesday.

The state is converting a 5,000-square-foot maintenance shed – previously used by the Hawaii Community Development Authority – into a shelter near the Kakaako Waterfront Park. It's expected to serve 240 individuals over the course of a year.

"We are continuing to make progress in addressing homelessness throughout our state," Scott Morishige, the governor's coordinator on homelessness, said in a statement. "The shelter site was identified after a thorough vetting process that took into account feedback from shelter providers and homeless families."

The 24-hour shelter – aimed to serve as an entry point to connect families to longer-term transitional or permanent housing -- will likely accommodate about 60 individuals, or 15 families at a time. They are welcome to stay up to 90 days.

The site has existing water and sewer infrastructure and is located close to public transportation and social services, state officials said.

In November, the state conducted preliminary work on the facility, including soil testing and gutting the interior of the building to assess the structural integrity of the shed.

The estimated cost of construction is approximately $750,000. Construction and service provider selection are scheduled to be completed by February 2016. The new shelter is expected to be operational for two years after it opens.

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