Controversy Over A New Waianae Homeless Shelter

Denise Saylors
Denise Saylors
Kaulana Park
Kaulana Park
Maili Kai Subdivision
Maili Kai Subdivision

WAIANAE (KHNL) - A proposed transitional homeless shelter in Waianae has some residents really upset. They say they were not included in the decision making process, but not so, say representatives from the governor's office.

This picturesque view from a Waianae hillside will soon be filled with a homeless shelter. Folks who live in this neighborhood say they were kept out of the loop.

"The community at large has not been notified about it," said Denise Saylors, a Waianae resident.

And Alex Souza says he has a hard time selling his house now.

"We've had people turn away because they pass the homeless shelter on the way in," he said. "We're at a point right now where we'd be lucky if we break even."

But the state said it welcomed the community's input during a series of Waianae neighborhood board meetings last year.

"For those who showed up to those meetings, the majority of the people were very happy with the response that we've been given," said Kaulana Park, the HEART (Homeless Efforts Achieving Results Together) homeless solutions team leader for the state.

None of these folks attended those meetings, but still they question why these shelters seemingly appear only on the leeward coast.

"We're wondering about the balance throughout the island," said Saylors. "There's a lot of transitional and homeless shelters and crisis centers going into Waianae."

"And the reason for that was the outcry from the community that really came from them late June," said Park.

And state officials said they're already looking at helping other parts of Hawaii.

"Two mayors have already met with me and we're going to be giving them advice," said Park. "They'll obviously take the lead in getting things done."

Trying to find a solution that helps the homeless and those who live near them.

The next Waianae neighborhood board meeting will be held Tuesday night. That's when residents can give their input on design and construction of the shelter.