HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Ground was broken Thanksgiving Day in Kalaeloa on a master-planned community for the homeless made up of tiny homes and shared facilities.
It’s called a Kauhale, and it is situated right next door to U.S. Vets homeless shelter on Shangrila Street.
“It’s permanent housing. It’s a different kind of housing because we know one size doesn’t fit all,” said Lt. Gov. Josh Green.
The plan for Phase 1 is to build 39 tiny homes, 14 are already in the works.
The hope is to have people start moving in by New Year’s Day.
All supplies and man hours to make the homes have been donated.
“Over here you have Castle and Cooke, EAH, Kobayashi. These are generous, generous companies. And then there are generous individuals,” said Green.
Jacob Johnson is the owner of Hale Partners. He and some friends from Vanguard Theory and Blue Star Designs spent the past 4 days building a special gift for the village, an outdoor sitting area.
Johnson said, “I feel if you have the power. You have the responsibility to give back.”
The new business owner hopes it will become a spot that will bring folks together.
“The big concept is community and taking care of community. Four walls isn’t going to get you talking to your neighbor,” he said.
The Kauhale community will have shared utilities, onsite healthcare and social services donated by the local non-profit H-4.
Residents will pay rent - somewhere between $200 and $400 a month.
The district’s lawmakers have high hopes for the location.
“Many of the people that we’re targeting are our homeless veterans that we have a hard time bringing into shelter,” said Honolulu councilmember Kymberly Pine.
“You see around the area, the need,” said State Sen. Kurt Fevella, (R) Ewa Beach.
The head of HomeAid Hawaii says while the project’s off to an incredible start, she needs all the help she can get.
That includes more home sponsors and volunteers.
“We’re actively looking for things like sod, so we can have a nice grassy area.” said Nani Medeiros.
“We are working on designs for a community garden. So if there are donors out there that have nurseries and want to donate plants. We would really appreciate that.”
If you’d like to donate click here.