No place like home

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    A group of Ho‘opili Hou volunteers paint inside one of the Eleele Iluna houses for Kauai Habitat for Humanity during its recent work day.

  • Courtesy Kauai Habitat for Humanity

    The Ho‘opili Hou group arrives for its build day at the Kauai Habitat for Humanity’s Eleele Iluna neighborhood last month.

ELEELE — More than 120 students from the Ho‘opili Hou student leadership conference spent last Saturday volunteering at the Kauai Habitat for Humanity’s Eleele Iluna neighborhood.

The students, representing Windward Community College, Kauai Community College, Honolulu Community College, Leeward Community College, the University of Hawaii West Oahu, Kapiolani Community College, Chaminade University, and the Windward Community College, arrived for a weekend conference of learning and honing leadership skills.

Presented by the Hawaii Association of Student Life Advisors and hosted by the Kauai Community College, John Constantino coordinated the Kauai Habitat work day as a service project for the conference before the group left on Sunday.

“This was the largest group of volunteers we have hosted at Kauai Habitat,” said Caitlin Pounds, Kauai Habitat volunteer coordinator. “We were thrilled to see the students express interest in the affordable housing issues that face Kauai. Our homebuyers definitely appreciate all the work that can be accomplished by a group of this size.”

During the work day, the Ho‘opili Hou group worked with Kauai Habitat staff and homebuyers doing different stages of construction after Milani Pimental of Kauai Habitat presented an evening talk on service and the Habitat building model.

“We love having groups out on site,” said Nolan Corlett, the Kauai Habitat construction superintendent. “The help that the students provided was phenomenal, and our construction staff and volunteer crew leaders were excited to work with them. The group completed interior painting on two lots, exterior porch painting on four lots, and insulation and exterior painting on another lot. The group also completed a storage shed for tools and did extensive site clean up work.”

The Eleele Iluna subdivision is building homes in Phase II of that project that will provide 107 new affordable homes in this phase that is projected to be completed by the end of 2020.

Phase II homes rely heavily on volunteers to keep costs down and homes affordable.

Kauai Habitat is recruiting volunteers for build days similar to that provided by Ho‘opili Hou. Arrangements for build days can be set up by visiting the Kauai Habitat for Humanity website at


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