New Leeward Shelter a Cut Above

Pastor Boo Soares
Pastor Boo Soares
Sam Carter
Sam Carter

WAIANAE (KHNL)--This Waianae development takes a new approach to building low income housing and emergency shelters. A coalition of island church members raised $18 million. They built this in just eight months using state money, grants and private donations.

"The Lord has blessed us tremendously," said Executive Director Pastor Boo Soares.

The largest building is the two story resource center. "In the corner there we have dentistry center," explained Soares.

There is also a medical clinic. Residents can visit offices that offer other programs like life skills and computer classes.

"In our resource building we have preschool, daycare, a kitchen, dining room, all services agencies and it's going to be on site to help eliminate hurdles for the people we are helping," said Soares.

The kitchen will offer culinary training and off site lunch wagons.

"I'm interested in cooking too. I used to cook before and I wanted to get into culinary arts and if this program does have it I don't see why not," said Homeless resident Sam Carter.

The apartments are roomy and bright. Renters can live in the 32 transitional housing units for up to two years before moving on. There are 24 affordable rentals.

I'm standing on the balcony of one of the new affordable units. It's a two-bedroom one-bath, with new appliances, even cable TV internet and phone service.

Tenants will be selected by leeward service providers. Many in the homeless community say they'd like to live here.

"I would love to live here, the project that is coming up is very nice and affordable. I come from being homeless living on the beach. I'm at a shelter right now this project is pretty nice I would love living here," said Carter.

"What I envision here is people's lives being changed and giving them the tools they need to transition back into the community," said Soares.