By Mary Simms
HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Too many Hawaii residents have no place to call home, while some public housing units sit empty. During homeless awareness week, many non-profits are banding together to bring attention to this important issue.
One of the problems is many of the vacant units are dirty, or need repairs. But today was public housing clean-up day at Puahala Housing. Non-profit groups, residents, and even homeless people came together to beautify and improve life.
There are more than 300 units here, about 50 sit vacant, awaiting repairs.
"A lot of people misunderstand and think we have a homeless problem. We don't have a homeless problem -- we have a lack of affordable housing. There are a lot of units here that have been sitting here vacant and it's a big burden to the state to try and get these units up and ready for operation," said homeless advocate Doran Porter.
It's an issue that frustrates those involved in solving Hawaii's homeless crisis.
"Yeah, it's frustrating knowing theres 700 empty units around the strategy sitting empty that could be occupied if we had the resources to get them up and running," said Porter.
Working hard in the heat to get these units up and ready for operation are volunteers, public housing residents,
even homeless Hawaii residents.