A new facility that’s been more than a year in the making is finally opening its doors Thursday.
Hale Mauliola is a housing navigation service center on Sand Island made up of shipping container housing units.
It will offer shelter to homeless looking to get off the streets, and the property comes with extra services to help them.
The rooms are stocked with everything from towels and toiletries to a small solar panel that powers a small light and charges cell phones.
According to Kimo Carvalho, Institute for Human Services’ director of community relations, these are just some of the amenities in Hale Mauliola.
“We want to basically set them up so that they are housing ready and by allowing all of the services that are on site, which includes employment, healthcare, housing, it includes case management and access to benefits, they can access all that on site while they’re working full-time and doing what they’re doing,” said Carvalho.
The first six people move into the facility Thursday, with full capacity at 90 people.
According to IHS’ Connie Mitchell, the goal is to have people transitioned into permanent housing within 60 days.
“We’re really about welcoming people who are motivated and really ready to work toward getting into housing, so we’re going to be connecting them up to all of our housing resources, making sure that they’re really focused on doing the things they need to do to get out of here in 60 days,” Mitchell said.
According to IHS, one of the biggest differences in this facility is that there will be fewer barriers to entry.
Couples will be able to stay together in the same room. The institute will also be working with the humane society and will allow pets in the rooms.
There also won’t be a curfew, just quiet hours from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Gary Nakata, the city director of community services, says public input played a big role in the final product.
“We’ve heard the public. We heard everyone that had concerns about this. We took it all in and we internalized it and we said, you’re right, there’s a lot of good ideas here. There’s a lot of good concerns. Let’s not be in too much of a rush. So we took a step back and we thought how can we do it better,” Nakata said.