With funds running dry, temporary Maui homeless shelter to shut down
WAILUKU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A temporary homeless shelter on Maui is out of money and may soon be out of time as it prepares close down its services.
Wahi Hoomalu O Wailuku off Waiale Road is Maui’s temporary homeless shelter.
There are a total of 23 personal shelters, 64-square-feet each.
It opened in 2020 at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to provide a safe space for Maui’s unsheltered.
“These are something we should be opening more of, not closing,” said Share Your Mana founder Lisa Darcy.
The pallet housing was originally slated to shut down last year. The county funded the project for about six months then Family Life Center took over.
“It was supposed to have closed down last September, but the county allowed us to stay there,” said Maude Cumming, Family Life Center Executive Director. “There’s no alternate site, there’s no long-term funding. So, it will close at some point.”
County officials say it will most likely shut down by the end of the year.
“Where the pallet homes are is actually a county park, and that will eventually get returned to the community to use as a park, which is appropriate,” said the Maui County’s Department of Housing and Human Concerns director, Lori Tsuhako.
“So, the pallets will be removed from that park and the park will be restored for that community at some point. I’d say very safely before the end of the calendar year.”
Family Life Center said they are working with those living in the pallet housing now to get them into permanent homes or treatment centers.
Advocates worry some may slip through the cracks.
“Even though I heard that they were closing the pallet homes, I also heard we can use county parks to create respite spaces, and that’s what we desperately, desperately need to start doing,” said community advocate, Keisa Liu.
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