Oahu Shelter On Wheels Almost A Reality

Utu Langi
Utu Langi

by Joann Shin

HONOLULU (KHNL) - It started with one man, one dream, one bus. Utu Langi, who has spent the last decade helping the homeless, wanted to do more.

"There was a young couple with two of their young children using one of the toilet stalls for shelter from the rain, that's ridiculous we can do better than that."

Last April he set out to build a shelter on wheels. He was using old tour buses donated by Roberts Hawaii. Since then, he's made a lot of progress. Now there's 5 buses and a lot to park them.

"Oceanic Cable, they opened up a part of their land for us to park these buses," said Langi.

The state came in with money to pay for staff.

According to Langi, "The state has given me a grant of $500,000 dollars."

The city waived the tax weight fees for each bus.

He explained, "Otherwise I would be paying $1,200 to 1,400 per bus."

And by next month Langi plans to make this vision a reality. But he needs one final push to make it happen. He still needs help to retrofit the rest of the buses and staff, including drivers.

"I need a whole lot of volunteers. Hoping I will get some."

And he hopes the driving force will be the reminder that there's still a great need.

"Some of stuff I go through is a bump along the way. This thing is going to happen, God willing, regardless of what's going on," Langi said.