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Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Caldwell Buys Iwilei Building: Hub for Homeless to Rival LA Skid Row
By News Release @ 8:18 PM :: 6483 Views :: Honolulu County, Homelessness

City acquires Iwilei building to be used for housing, homeless services

News Release from City and County of Honolulu June 22, 2016

Honolulu – Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced today that the City and County of Honolulu has purchased a four-story building located at 431 Kuwili Street to be used for permanent supportive housing and homeless services, including a hygiene center.

“There is a tremendous need for housing and services for people experiencing chronic homelessness in Iwilei,” said Mayor Caldwell.  “We’ve listened to concerns from area residents and businesses, worked with the City Council – especially Councilmember Joey Manahan – and are making a substantial investment in this neighborhood and its future. The programming that will be provided at this building has the potential to be a game changer for Iwilei and a template for other areas of O‘ahu. We look forward to continuing to work with the Council, State, businesses, nonprofits, and the community to see this through.”

The first floor of the building will become a hygiene center that includes restrooms, showers, and laundry machines, modeled after facilities in the Pacific Northwest. The City Council included in the upcoming annual budget $2 million in capital funds and $1 million in operational funds to operate the Iwilei hygiene center. Pauahi Hale, home to the city’s existing hygiene center opened in 2015 and is the first-of-its-kind in Hawai‘i, serves 60-70 clients daily in the heart of Chinatown, and the city expects the Iwilei hygiene center to serve even more.

“I'm happy and proud that Iwilei will be home to our first full service hygiene center with drop-in services and permanent supportive housing,” said Councilmember Joey Manahan. “It's the first of its kind in the City and the State, and it represents the all hands on deck approach we need to take in government in order for us to effectively address the homelessness and housing crisis in Honolulu and the State of Hawai‘i. I'd like to thank the governor and the mayor for their support of the City Council's budget that assists all Council districts in providing housing solutions to get us beyond crisis mode and help in the fight to end homelessness in Honolulu.”

Supportive services, which may include case management, mental and physical health care, counseling, substance abuse treatment, and/or job training and placement, will be housed on the second floor of the building. The City and State are exploring a collaborative effort to leverage State behavioral health resources and expertise to serve clients at the project. A minimum of 35 permanent supportive housing units will be constructed on the third and fourth floors.

“This project underscores the power of the state’s Emergency Proclamation on Homelessness,” said Gov. David Ige. “It is the most recent example of the way the state can facilitate increased efficiency and collaboration. The fifth supplemental Emergency Proclamation, which I signed on Monday, extends the momentum for another 60 days and enables projects like this one to more rapidly become a reality.”

The building was built by the Sasaki family in 1976 and was once home to Malihini Sportswear.

The City used $6.3 million in general obligation bonds to purchase the 43,000 square foot building. This money came from $64 million allocated by the City Council over the last two fiscal years to invest in housing and shelter for people experiencing or susceptible to falling into homelessness. In addition to this project, the Office of Strategic Development has used the City Council funding to acquire properties in Makiki and Wai‘anae and is currently performing due diligence on other potential purchases.

A Request for Proposals (RFP) will be issued to select a contractor to perform improvements on the property and a second RFP will be issued to select a service provider to operate the facility.  Announcements will be made when the RFPs are issued.


City to convert Iwilei low-rise into hub to keep the homeless, homeless

SA: …The so-called “hygiene center” is the result of “the marriage of our resources that we both bring to the table,” Caldwell told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Tuesday.  (Translation: Thanks a lot, Ernie.)

The city spent $6.3 million to buy the property, with the City Council providing $2 million in capital funds and $1 million in operational money to run the hygiene center, Caldwell said….

“We’re going after the hard core,” Caldwell said. “These are people who have been on the street for a long time.”  (And we want to help them stay on the street.) …

The idea was inspired by a trip to Seattle last year by Council Chairman Ernie Martin and Councilmen Joey Manahan and Trevor Ozawa that followed a reporting trip by the Star-Advertiser to review homeless projects in the Emerald City that might work in the islands…. (Thus proving all of these people are idiots.)

This week, Manahan had planned to join Council members Carol Fukunaga, Ann Kobayashi and Ron Menor on a follow-up trip to review Seattle’s homeless projects, including hygiene centers and government-sanctioned tent cities.

But Manahan instead will join Caldwell and state officials this morning for a news conference announcing the new hygiene center in his Iwilei district.

Manahan, who has criticized the city’s Chinatown hygiene center as too small and uninviting, welcomed today’s announcement as well as state and city cooperation galvanizing around homelessness.

read … A Hub

The Model for Caldwell and Martin: Homeless tent cities: Seattle’s decade-long nightmare coming to Honolulu?


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