Categorized | Government, Health, News

Groundbreaking held for Kona homeless shelter


A groundbreaking ceremony for what will be the first emergency homeless shelter in West Hawaii was Tuesday, June 30 next to the existing Friendly Place service center at 74-5593 Pawai Place in the Kailua-Kona old industrial area.

The new West Hawaii Emergency Housing Program Facility will have a total of 31 beds with separate wings for men and women, and will cost $1.77 million. West Hawaii does not currently have an emergency homeless shelter that serves adult single clients.

“This long-awaited project is a collaborative effort by many partners in the community, and comes at a time of great need,” Mayor Billy Kenoi said. “I want to thank Sen. Daniel K. Inouye and the rest of our Congressional delegation for helping to make this critically needed project possible.”

Funding is being provided by the federal, state and county governments. The largest single source of funding is the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which is providing special project grants of $670,613 and $148,500. Additional funding for the project is being provided through a state appropriation of $453,007, and $500,000 in county construction funding.

Each wing will have a bathroom and shower facilities, laundry facilities, common kitchen and meeting areas, and a multipurpose room for classes and meetings. The facility will also have administrative space for the facility operator, and storage space.

The new facility will provide emergency shelter and services to clients to help them stabilize and to encourage self-sufficiency. Clients will be offered employment and housing search assistance, budgeting and life skills training and other classes along with guidance to help them connect with other off-site community resources.

Construction is scheduled to be completed in July 2010.

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