Kalihi Health Center Receives Large Grant

Michael Walter
Michael Walter

HONOLULU (KHNL)- Homeless programs around the country get a major boost from Uncle Sam.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development will distribute more than a billion dollars to some 5,300 programs and agencies. In Hawaii, nearly two dozen programs or entities will receive more than $6 million to help the homeless.

Kalihi-Palama Health Center's Homeless Project will receive the largest portion, nearly $1.5 million.

Last year, the center served more than 20,000 people. Seventy percent of the patients were at or below the poverty level and 10% were homeless. Through the center's program, officials help homeless people with disabilities find a permanent place to stay.

"We help them get into housing and contribute some of their income towards it and the plus-care part is we provide case management," said Michael Walter, chief medical officer.

The program pays for the majority of their rent. Health officials also keep track of how their patients are adjusting to their new home.

"It is a different population than what doctors would see," said Walter.

He says the center helps people in many different ways, offering everything from women's health care to nutrition counseling. Their main mission is to take care of just about anyone who walks in the building.

"What I like about the doctors is that they make me feel better," said Aaron Rasquero, patient.