Homeless Advocate Rolls Out Mobile Shelter - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Homeless Advocate Rolls Out Mobile Shelter

Utu Langi Utu Langi
Mack Stahl Mack Stahl

By Marvin Buenconsejo

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Homeless rights advocate, Utu Langi, rolled-out his latest effort to help those in need of emergency shelter.

It's the first of 18 tour buses, that are being converted to give people a place to sleep, overnight.

On the outside, it looks "touristy" enough.  Red, silver and black. And a fancy logo.

But the inside paints a different picture.

There's enough customized living space in here to keep eight people from sleeping on the curb.

''Man, I'm so excited. I've been looking forward to this moment for two years. I can see the headlines: Finally!" shouted Utu Langi.

It costs about $10,000 dollars to refit one bus.

The state has earmarked a half-a million dollars to keep the program up-and-running for the next year.

Utu Langi, emphasizes, this is not a transportation service. But rather, a way to take a solution directly to the homeless problem.

''The idea is to take the shelter to the people and hopefully we will get to some spots around the island where the issue is a bit high and take a bus over there in the evening and I'm banking highly on the mobility of the buses."

After some last-minute adjustments, this bus will go into service in about two weeks.

Langi says, he hopes to have five of them operating by February.

Appreciative homeless people explain, it's not a moment too soon.

'It shouldn't be that way. But, we're living in an economically intensive time," said Mack Stahl, a homeless.  "One paycheck away from being on the bus. This is your safety net, you know. You may be with us next week, and not even know it."

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