Protest over planned transitional housing

By Paul Drewes - bio | email

PEARL CITY (KHNL) - There's been a big effort to provide transitional housing for those trying to get back on their feet, as they battle homelessness. But a different kind of transitional housing is not always so welcome.

On a tranquil Pearl City street, construction work is wrapping up on a house.

An addition and remodel, but its more than just a home improvement project, some feel this could change this quiet community.

"I don't think they should be moving into our neighborhood." says Laurie Nonaka, a lifelong Pearl City resident.

'They' are up to two dozen men making their way back from prison to society.

A local group wants to provide transitional housing here for former criminals.

But Laurie Nonaka is saying no to the project.

She lives at the end of the street where crime is already a concern.

Underneath the H1 freeway, which is about a hundred feet from the transitional home, there are already problems according to neighbors.

And the police are called there every week.

The group, Choice House, says this would be home to low risk offenders as they receive vocational and rehabilitation training.

But some are concerned with what the former criminals will be doing in their spare time.

"What's in between, who is going to watch them, are they going to be escorted in and out? Without guarantees we don't want to allow it." adds Nonaka.

Others would prefer transitional housing for former criminals to be in an industrial area, like at the Laumaka Work Furlough center, instead of the quiet Pearl City street.

After an initial meeting with the community, neighborhood board members will now hear the company's plans for the home at their next meeting.