Big hearts band together to build tiny homes for lava evacuees

Big hearts band together to build tiny homes for lava evacuees

HAWAIIAN PARADISE PARK, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - A second village of tiny homes for eruption evacuees is nearly complete in Pahoa.

Ten churches from across the state are responsible for making Hale Iki Village possible. The one-acre village sits off 21st Avenue in Hawaiian Paradise Park.

The owner of Kimo Kahele Construction is just one of close to 40 companies that have contributed to the project.

Over the past two weeks, volunteers have built 13 micro-units and started work on a community kitchen.

"We're just doing a little of what needs to be done," said Kimo Kahele.

But earlier this week, the project narrowly avoided a major setback when a group of suspected thieves showed up.

[Final touches being put on community-funded tiny homes for evacuees]

Thankfully, they were chased away thanks to a vigilant neighbor.

"We had people come onto the property. About six people and they were trying to steal things," Connect Point Church Pastor Dion Maeda said.

He says an alert neighbor saw what was going on and confronted them.

"What would have happened if our neighbor wasn't here, and didn't say something and speak up as brave and courageous as they were," Maeda said.

"Who knows what would have happened to this place."

Now it's back to the task at hand — everyone working overtime in an effort to get evacuees out of shelters into a place that's safe and stable.

The project comes as the state and county scramble to find housing solutions for thousands of those displaced in lower Puna by ongoing eruptions.

"They lost everything. This is just the first step to kind of this new journey they're going to be on," said Maeda. "Something a little more comfortable for them until maybe some mid-term, long-term housing solutions can open up."

If all goes as planned the dedication is set for Aug. 11. Evacuees will begin moving in soon after.

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