New micro-unit housing project to aid homeless on Hawaii Island

Photo: County of Hawaii

The County of Hawaii is celebrating its latest housing project in Kailua-Kona.

Hale Kikaha consists of 23 micro-units meant to support the area’s homeless population.

The $2.5 million project on Pawai Place will also provide social services to residents.

“Our families who are homeless need a sense that they have a chance. They can believe that because they can sleep in a clean, safe place,” said Hawaii Island Mayor Billy Kenoi. “We’re creating a puʻuhonua, a safe haven, a place of refuge where people can walk around with dignity and respect.”

The January 2016 point-in-time count showed nearly 1,400 homeless people on Hawaii Island, an increase of 10 percent from 2015. Of those people, about 500 were unsheltered in West Hawaii.

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