‘Unneeded’ house now a home

ANAHOLA — A house which is no longer needed can serve as a home for someone else who needs one, said Milani Pimental, Kauai Habitat for Humanity’s director of development.

“The Toulons learned from their grandparents and parents that perfectly good structures should be reused, not demolished,” Pimental said during the blessing of a home belonging to Debbie and Elvis Troche of Anahola on Friday morning.

Pimental said the Toulons volunteered following Hurricane Katrina and came home with memories and inspiration from the experience, leading to the donation.

“We’ve never done a donation of a house before,” Pimental said. “But with the help of Kauai Habitat director Stephen Spears, Catherine Shiningstar-Kaauwai, the Habitat Family Services director, and a lot of creative helpers, this is now the home for Debbie and Elvis.”

During the summer of 2011, a fire destroyed the Troche home in Anahola. After consulting with Erna Kamibayashi of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, the Troches were referred to Kaauwai, who at the time, had no resources available for disaster relief.

“The timing of the donation was perfect,” Kaauwai said. “The Toulons no longer needed the home, it didn’t fit into their plans, so they donated it to Habitat, hoping it would work for someone.”

With the help of Mike Faye, his son Richard, and Kikiaola Construction, the home was moved over two days from its original site on the South Shore to the Anahola homesite.

Peter Wiederoder, Kauai site manager for Dow AgroSciences and vice president of the Kauai Habitat board of directors, said he took a personal interest in the project.

“We not only invested in the project, we had some of our crews, including myself, volunteer to help with the home after it was placed at the homesite,” he said. “It is a great pleasure to be able to present Debbie and Elvis the keys to their new home.”

Debbie and Elvis, overwhelmed with the emotion, were silent but grateful for the support of the Kauai Habitat volunteers, the staff, and representatives of the different agencies which worked to get them into the home.

“They are so ready to move forward,” said Laakea Therese, cultural practitioner who officiated over the dedication.

Pimental said the Troches are working toward reuniting their family, including son and daughter, Noah and Nadia Troche, once the leases are up — hopefully, by the holidays.

With the completion of the Troche home, the 114th one for Kauai Habitat, Pimental said they will be blessing the home of Marian Eguchi in Kekaha on Friday.

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