By Zahid Arab
WAIANAE-- (KHNL)- With about 11% of Hawaii living in poverty, a coalition of church members took action, constructing a new building that focuses on helping the homeless. It's called the Kahikolu Project. with construction almost complete near the Waianae coast, it offers emergency, transitional, and low-income rentals to a community that desperately needs it.
"We're entering into our new facility," said Pastor Boo Soares.
With less than a month until construction is complete, Pastor Boo Soares can hardly wait, he's wired.
With brand new buildings of emergency, transitional and low income rentals, it's a project aimed at painting those less fortunate a brighter future.
"It helps them bring back self-esteem and not only that it encourages them to even go further," said Soares.
To help them do that, this two-story resource center will house a preschool, a medical clinic and services to train residents in eight different trades to help them earn money.
Alejandro Palisbo is one of the people who might benefit from the facility. But he says he's skeptical about the new shelter. He says its true test is building trust among the nearly 1000 people living on the beaches of the Waianae coast.
" I think its good if it proves true, saying and doing is two different things. We've got to sit and wait, time will tell," said Palisbo.
The project couldn't have better timing, Pastor Boo says the state will soon take measures to close beaches to the homeless sending them to the shelter for relief."
" The people out there on the beaches and in the bushes that's all our families. The homeless situation is not about to be out of control, it's out of control," said Soares.
Residents can live up three years on site. tenants will be chosen through a referral program. Through the services and training provided the hope is to help them become self-reliant.
" The orphans, the widows, the homeless, the poor, the needy, the hungry. We can give them that second chance in life," said Soares.