People start moving in to Sand Island homeless facility

The new Sand Island facility opened its doors to the homeless last week, but as of Saturday, it’s nowhere near full.

Kimo Carvalho, community relations director with the Institute for Human Services, attributes it to “growing pains,” but their clients who are there are very appreciative to have a roof over their heads.

Seven people have reportedly moved in so far.

“There’s definitely little tweaks you have to make when you’re opening a new facility,” Carvalho said, “but we’re working through them all. It’s definitely a good thing.”

Things that are being worked out include “robust communications, making sure that everyone is accommodated to the best that we can.”

Carvalho said most of the clients lived on the streets in Honolulu’s urban core. “There was a couple living out of their car in the Sand Island recreational area. Both worked full time and they just needed a place to accommodate them.”

With rent around $100 a month, IHS expects the average length of stay to be two months.

“We are vetting everyone carefully. We want to make sure they’re serious about housing as an end goal.”

So far, 38 applications were turned in. Carvalho said they collected the applications over two months.

Another six clients with pets will move in on Monday.

“One client in particular, she’s been on streets for seven years,” Carvalho said. “Because of the recent rainstorm, her belongings got soaking wet. She was tearing up and was so appreciative.”

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