by: Leland Kim
LEEWARD COAST (KHNL) - The governor and her "homelessness solutions" team met with folks on the Leeward coast this evening. Lingle's team presented specific plans, including a new shelter in Waianae. But some say they need to address a bigger issue.
This is where Yvonne Lowe calls home: Uleawa Beach in Maili. She's lived here since September, and says the rising cost of housing has forced her and her family onto the beach.
"You got to wait month to month to get a check," Lowe said. "It's not easy.
She says trying to get by on her limited income is often tough.
"Listening to children crying and fighting because they're hungry," said Lowe. "It's not easy."
This evening Lowe was one of many who came to hear Governor Linda Lingle speak. She unveiled her ongoing plan to help the homeless population on the leeward coast. In October, Lingle's team opened the Onelauena transitional shelter in Kalaeloa. The latest project is the Waianae Civic Center Shelter.
"You've got one big shelter which is called a family shelter and the other side is for individuals and couples," said Kaulana Park, a spokesperson for the Department of Hawaiian Homelands. "At the end of the day, this will be three hundred people, maybe more."
The governor has pledged to help the homeless population, but some of those she's reaching out to say they need something more tangible.
Housing that we can afford," said Lowe. "There's no housing here that you can afford. Not like how it was before. Can't nobody tell me they can afford it."
As government and community leaders look for solutions, Yvonne Lowe and others hope for a better tomorrow.