HANAPEPE — The Kaua‘i Housing Connect outreach at Salt Pond Beach Park Tuesday was the second of three events planned by the County Housing Agency and the Kaua‘i Community Alliance in observance of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week on now through Sunday, Nov. 22.
A steady stream of people, fed in part from the free shuttle by The Kaua‘i Bus from Lucy Wright Park in Waimea, filtered through the offerings that overflowed with a variety of items ranging from propane gas, personal hygiene goods, clothing, and even toys. Various participating agencies also provided a wealth of information, food and health screenings.
“This is beyond good,” said Kaulana Carlos-Kahalekomo who, along with her children Paleku and Alilea, were forced to make a trip to their tent before returning to visit even more booths. “This is a very helpful event, and it’s nice that they come out for the people who have transportation issues. Some people no more cars, and some can’t even afford the bus passes, so it’s good they come out.”
Meghan Matsuda-Blaylock, who heads the Healing Kaua‘i Houseless program, offered a variety of items that she said were donated by people in the community to help others dealing with housing issues including homelessness and housing insecurity.
“We’re doing something similar during the Black Friday week,” Matsuda-Blaylock said. “This one is for all those vendors who lost their venues because of the COVID-19. Choi Village in Kapa‘a has been closed because of the pandemic, so we arranged to have vendors inside and out (for food trucks) from Nov. 23 to 27 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.”
She said they are working with state Department of Health officials to have everything spread out to avoid social-distancing and gatherings issues.
“We’re doing it the entire week so people don’t need to come all at once,” she said. “This way, everything is spread out. And you have to have a face covering.”
The Salvation Army Lt. Amy Lewis, arriving to lead the Hanapepe Corps in the midst of the pandemic, got help from her advisory board members Char Cacal and Dickie Chang to help the steady stream of clients who surpassed the registered 27 from the ‘Anini Beach Park event Monday.
A final Kaua‘i Housing Connect event takes place Friday at Lydgate Park, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Special roundtrip shuttles of The Kaua‘i Bus will be available from and to the ‘Eiwa Street bus stop in Lihu‘e and Lihi Park in Kapa‘a and Lydgate Park.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or email@example.com.