LIHU‘E — The first several families have moved into Kaua‘i’s first transit-ready communities project, Kealaula on Pua Loke Supportive Housing Development, in late November.
“This collaboration is much more than housing,” said Mayor Derek Kawakami. “This is a place where the lives of families will be redirected in the right direction. I am forever grateful for all the work to provide this place for these families.”
The project is incorporating designated, permanent housing units modeled after Kahauiki Village in Sand Island on O‘ahu. Wrap-around services are included, such as case management, handled by Women In Need.
“This is the first project that the county has done specifically tailored to address the homeless population and transition them from the state of homelessness to housing,” said County Housing Agency Director Adam Roversi. “We hope to repeat this project in different places on Kaua‘i.”
Kealaula on Pua Loke consists of 15 single-story duplex buildings, each containing two, one-bedroom or studio units with bathrooms and kitchens, and one community building.
The project is part of the 2018 Act 209 ‘Ohana Zone Pilot Program, which earmarked $30 million in state funding to establish ‘Ohana Zones on O‘ahu, Hawai‘i Island, Kaua‘i and Maui.
Funding for Kaua‘i’s ‘Ohana Zone project consists of $2 million from the state for construction and $2.3 million from the state Department of Human Services to provide two years of services. The balance of $1.5 million is from the CHA, for construction expenses.
The administration selected Women In Need as its partner in Kaua‘i’s ‘Ohana Zone project. Women In Need is an established Hawai‘i nonprofit that operates existing transitional housing facilities on Kaua‘i and O‘ahu.
Women In Need will manage the facility and provide necessary social services, touching on substance abuse, re-entry from incarceration, domestic violence, parenting life skills and employment services.
“WIN is honored to be able to be part of Kealaula on Pua Loke, to offer these families a new beginning and fresh start,” said Mary Scott-Lau, WIN executive director.
”We are excited to work with them and are humbled that we are able to experience their accomplishments and witness them thrive,” she said.
To view video of Kealaula on Pua Loke grand opening, see fb.watch/292JyLU992/.