First of 3 Homeless Shelters Opened in Wai`anae

Click on the image to access the report and the video.

On 20 Aug 2008, in a KHON newscast on the new homeless shelter that opened in Wai`anae, reporter Brianne Randle interviewed Rep. Maile Shimabukuro. Following are excerpts from the report:

“It’s obvious to anyone if you just drive down Farrington highway or if you live here how much this project is desperately needed,” said Rep. Maile Shimabukuro, (D) Waianae.

It’s the third facility opened under an emergency declaration by the governor. The first of three being built on the Leeward coast.

“[The declaration] allowed us to seek funds that otherwise would not have been available,” says Russ Saito, State Coordinator of Homelessness.

[It also allowed] the shelter to be built while bypassing various codes and zoning restrictions.

“This project really couldn’t have come any sooner,” says Shimabukuro. “The emergency shelters are all brimming at the seams.”

The shelter is opening just as the city begins more overnight park closures. It’s the first step to getting homeless off the beach and into a home.

“Whether its drug and alcohol treatment, mental health treatment, job training, all those things will be combined to help these families transition,” says Shimabukuro. “And to really combat this homeless crisis we see on the Wai`anae coast.”

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