The City and County of Honolulu will host a public meeting on the proposed Sand Island Housing First Transition Center this Wednesday.
The meeting will take place Sept. 10, from 6-8 p.m. at Puuhale Elementary School’s cafeteria.
Housing First is a nationally recognized best practice that takes the most vulnerable chronically homeless individuals and families off of the street and places them directly into permanent supportive housing with access to services to help support their independence.
After pushing for funding for Housing First for 18 months, funding was made available to begin implementation of the city’s program beginning in FY15. It will take 12-18 months for Housing First to be fully operational.
In the meantime, the city is considering a temporary Housing First Transition Center in partnership with the state at Sand Island. It will offer a hygiene center, secure storage, segregated sleeping and community areas and be pet-friendly.
Housing First principles will be employed in an outdoor setting to bring homeless persons into a safe, supportive environment and provide assessment services, stability and access to supportive services in the interim before permanent housing units become available.
The center will have 24/7 security and onsite management staff working in coordination with security teams from neighboring properties. There will be no charge to stay at the facility.
The Sand Island location was selected after an exhaustive search that included 25 locations island-wide, from Hawaii Kai to Ewa. Most sites were deemed unusable for this purpose due to proximity to high density residential areas, proximity to schools or economic impact on larger communities.