Honolulu company embarks on Molokai center 'Extreme Makeover'

HONOLULU (KHNL) - The Rotary of Metropolitan Honolulu is taking on its biggest community service project to date, a "Molokai Drop In Center Extreme Makeover."

More than 50 members from Oahu and Maui will renovate the 22,575 square-foot center called Hana Ka Lima, with two existing houses that will serve Molokai residents with mental illness and substance abuse problems.

Renovations include creating a large dining room, fellowship room and certified kitchen with a pantry in one building.

The other building will be for a "Clerical Unit" that will offer pre-vocational opportunities and supported education for the clients as well as a music room.

"We're so excited to take this project on as it will truly be an extreme makeover that will benefit so many people in an underserved area," said Kathleen Merriam, Metro Rotary's project leader.  "These improvements will make it possible to help more people and for the state to allocate more resources, most likely doubling the staff to offer more services and longer hours to those who really need it."

Currently, there are 88 people registered on Molokai as suffering from mental illness and drug abuse.