Wahiawa residents say planned homeless shelter is unsafe

Updated: Dec. 28, 2019 at 6:56 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Josephine Honda, 97, has lived on Mango Street in Wahiawa for more than seven decades.

And just last year, a nonprofit group Alea Bridge began building a homeless shelter next door.

She said she’s not against helping the homeless but worries that the unoccupied, former portable classrooms are not only an eyesore but are unsafe for nearby residents.

“I’m afraid one of these days if a fire starts, we’re right next door. Or if we have a windstorm, the whole thing is going to fall on us," said Honda, who turns 98 on June 2.

Alea Bridge’s Resource and Navigation Center will provide showers, hygiene and laundry facilities.

Back in 2017, the state Legislature gave the nonprofit group funding to buy the land and provide outreach services for Wahiawa’s homeless population.

The center was supposed to open by this summer. But not only has it been delayed, it’s not even hooked up for sewer, water and electricity.

Alea Bridge's Resource and Navigation Center was supposed to open this summer but it doesn't...
Alea Bridge's Resource and Navigation Center was supposed to open this summer but it doesn't have the proper permits to start construction.(None)

Alea Bridge said the delays were caused by hold-ups in getting city building permits.

In response to complaints by the Hondas, the company said it removed debris and placed no-trespassing signs to keep out squatters.

“Unfortunately, at this time we are unable to make any renovations, alterations or even move the structures until we have a permit in hand,” said Alea Bridge’s Executive Director Nicky Winter.

Josephine Honda’s son Neal said that’s not enough.

“Somebody needs to come out and look at and say the buildings don’t fit on the property," Honda said.

“Somebody needs to have the guts to say it’s a fire hazard and remove it."

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