Mayor Caldwell announces temporary housing plan for houseless

Mayor Caldwell announced a plan to build Hale Mauliola, temporary modular housing, and to provide services for houseless on Sand Island site.

Press Release
Hawaii Independent Staff

Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced plans to move forward with a temporary modular housing facility on a vacant lot on Sand Island on June 2. The facility, which will be named Hale Mauliola, after the Hawaiian goddess of health and well-being, will provide emergency housing for 75-100 homeless individuals for about two months each as service providers work with them to transition into more permanent supportive housing.

Hawaii State House of Representatives Housing Chair Mark Hashem, State Homelessness Coordinator Colin Kippen, State of Hawaii Department of Transportation Director Ford Fuchigami and Deputy Director of Harbors Darrell Young, representatives from Faith Action for Community Equity, Waikiki Health Care-A-Van/Next Step Shelter, Mental Health Kokua, Salvation Army, Institute for Human Services, and officials from the Office of Strategic Development, Office of Housing, and Department of Community Services joined Mayor Caldwell on-site for the announcement.

The city today issued two Request for Proposals, one for construction of the Modular Container Homes, and the second for a service provider to provide supportive services on site. Bids for construction are due on June 24 and bids for supportive services are due on June 19. The administration hopes to open the facility this fall.

The site will feature 24-hour security and staffing. A contractor will remove the kiawe and the Department of Facility Maintenance will grade the site and apply a smooth, recycled asphalt surface. The State Department of Health tested the soil at the site this year for potential hazards and found that it was safe.

The plan calls for up to 25 modified shipping containers at the site. Each modified container will be divided into three or four units of approximately 40-53 square feet. Each living unit will have windows, a lockable door, and portable lighting. Pets that do not pose a threat to other residents will be allowed.

The site will have a central hygiene trailer with private individual showers, toilets, sinks, and electric outlets. Washbasins and clotheslines will be provided for laundry. There will also be a common area for residents. Shuttle service will be provided to the nearest TheBus stop.

The service provider will operate an intake center and program office. The service provider must provide intake services Monday through Friday during business hours, and accommodate both referrals and drop in clients.

Hale Mauliola will be a point of entry into Honolulu’s system of homeless services known as the Continuum of Care, and be a centralized location where homeless individuals can go for basic services, and begin the transition out of homelessness.

Homeless persons arriving at Hale Mauliola will:

•        go through a standardized intake and assessment process to determine their specific needs;
•        have a case manager assigned;
•        have an individualized support program developed to determine a path to begin the transition out of homelessness; and
•        be offered various housing and shelter options that may help them begin the road back to housing within the broader community.

The units will be provided at no cost to qualified residents. Persons who reside in these units must be engaged in case management and a service plan that will allow them to transition to housing or shelter within 60 days. People will not be allowed to pitch their tent or construct temporary structures at the project site.

The lot is located just past the access bridge into Sand Island.  It is not part of the Sand Island State Park or any existing businesses. The vacant land is being leased from the State of Hawaii for $1/year for three years as part of a city/state partnership to address homelessness. At the end of the lease the lot will be returned to the state and used for its harbor modernization project. The city will maintain ownership of the modular units.  The city is making this investment as an interim step as it builds permanent housing inventory.

Initial construction will cost about $500,000 to build the modular units, common areas, and infrastructure. The city will spend about $1.5 million a year on support services for Hale Mauliola residents.