KANEOHE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It took four years for Hina Mauka to raise the funds, plan, design and build a new upstairs wing.
Now, 16 additional beds increase to 64 the number of patients Hina Mauka will house in its residential drug and alcohol treatment program.
"The community expects us to be more responsive. With this, we will be," Hina Mauka CEO Alan Johnson said.
The brand new rooms are for female patients.
Former patient Taylor Joseph is impressed by the roomier spaces that sleep two to four people and come with individual desks and shared bathrooms.
"A lot of people that I know they're still in OCCC waiting for a bed space," she said. "I know a lot of of times the program brings in more men than women. It'll help with that population and help people get out of their addiction."
Johnson points to a growing need for residential treatment where patients live on the property for intensive counseling and case management.
"People are a lot sicker nowadays. Opiods are really devastating," he said.
The added beds could increase the number of patients Hina Mauka can help annually by about 200 people.
"It means more opportunity to take in people from the community who need substance abuse help," residential treatment counselor Kristen Aquino said.
Added counselor Peter Terry, "Hopefully, we can help get patients towards a lifetime of abstinence and sobriety."
There's an ongoing waiting list for the residential program..
Johnson believes the added occupancy will help the center get to those people quicker so they don't get discouraged and drop off the list.
"We're still going to have a growing wait list. We were concerned that by the time we built our sixteen beds we'd need a whole lot more than sixteen beds. This is a good start," he said.
HIna Mauka's putting the finishing touches on the $2 million wing with its upgraded accommodations.
Joseph said it's an step up from the section of the center she lived in during her residential treatment.
"It's a lot nicer," she said.
In two weeks, the new rooms will be ready for patients.