Sand Island shelter beautification project begins - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Sand Island shelter beautification project begins

(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)

By Janelle Guerrero-Miguel

The Institute of Human Services (IHS) is teaming up with Home Depot on its latest landscaping project. IHS said it wanted to add some “home touches” to the Hale Mauliola homeless shelter in Sand Island.

 “As you know, Hale Mauliola is out here at Sand Island and it's really hot,” said Connie Mitchell, executive director for the Institute of Human Services. “We really wanted to make it a more hospitable place and have some landscaping that would really make that ‘punch’ to have people feel like, 'Hey! This is really neat!’”

Home Depot donated the materials and is contributing to this project as a way to give back to the community.

“It is actually one of our core values. Giving back to the community is something that we embrace doing,” said Amare Belay, store manager of Home Depot in Kapolei.

“We build the river rock and then we're going to have a lot of-about 48 whiskey barrels of plants,” he said. “Eventually, we're also going to build a vegetable garden for them.”

Hale Mauliola is currently housing about 80 people. IHS housed over 60 people into permanent housing since they opened last November.

While most shelters only accept single individuals, this facility accepts couples and even pets.

"I think our project is really letting our community know that we're constantly trying to think of innovative ways to serve our homeless people,” Mitchell said. “We want people to come off the street and really accommodate them,"

About 60 volunteers from various construction companies and other community organizations came to participate in the project.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of next week.

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