Church sees cheap, igloo-like domes as answer to homelessness

Church sees cheap, igloo-like domes as answer to homelessness
Published: May. 3, 2016 at 7:23 PM HST|Updated: May. 3, 2016 at 10:41 PM HST
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(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Senior Pastor Klayton Ko, of First Assembly of God in Red Hill, wanted to do something to help the homeless.

His answer: 21 fiberglass panels held together by screws. The panels form a dome -- the first of what Ko hopes will be several igloo-like structures to house the homeless.

"What could we do as a church? I just prayed," he said. "How could we help to solve the homeless crisis?"

Ko says his faith drives him to help the homeless. It was last summer that he had a vision to incorporate domes in the church's ministry. "Not just provide a shelter, but also helping heal the heart, helping build community and relationships with them," he said.

In the week since the church went public with their plans to house the homeless in igloo-like structures, First Assembly has received $70,000 in donations.

That brings the total in donations for the project to $200,000.

"We never thought when we originally started this that we would get the exposure we have recently," he said.

The original plan was start out with a village of 12 domes. First Assembly of God is hoping to place its "shelter" on a property it has on the Windward side.

But with the additional money from the community and other congregations, Ko is already looking to expand to other communities on Oahu.

"The unknown is how soon we can get a property and also the city.  Working through the permitting process can take up to a year or more. Possibly we could get the city to show us some favor and fast track some of the approval process," Ko said.

Church leaders say the domes cost about $10,500, and take about three hours to build. They take about the same amount of time to take down.

If you'd like to help, contact the First Assembly of God.

Mobile users: Click here to see a slideshow of the domes.

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