KAPOLEI, Hawaii (KHON2) — 37 tiny homes each approximately 100 sq. ft. and fully furnished will be leased to homeless veterans here on Oahu.
HomeAid Hawaii is a non-profit organization committed to building the way home for the homeless community.
They partnered with other local non-profits and state agencies to get this project done.
According to Lt. Governor Josh Green these homes are needed now more than ever.
“It’s not an easy problem,” said Green. “There are over 12,000 of our citizens that are without a home. There are 15,000 people who seek services every year because they are in deep trouble.”
Green said these homes were built under the governor’s emergency proclamation and will have supportive on-site services provided by state contracted non-profits.
“There are so many people who are struggling out there and to go to this development team who have hearts of gold and say we can absolutely help them and get them housing,” said Green.
According to Green this project was two years in the making through countless hours of preparing this land to have tiny houses built on it.
Senator Kurt Favella for District 19 said this land didn’t always look this nice. He said before HomeAid started their renovations people would dump cars here and the buildings were crawling with centipedes.
“This place is a total transformation,” said Favella. “I don’t know if a lot of you know the history of the name of this place, but this place was called a morgue. It went from being called a morgue to getting life to the people that’s going to be living here.”
These tiny houses are located in Kapolei off Yorktown street. The cost of each house is about $22,000. This project received $1.8 million from state investment with another $2.5 million from HomeAid Hawaii donations.
“We are giving a lifetime of hope” said Darryl Vincent with U.S. VETS. “We are not going to have this kitchen just to give people a job but to put them on a vocation of a career path. We are not just giving someone a house we are providing and sharing a home and a community.”.
Vincent said the plan is to start putting homeless veterans in these homes no later than Dec. 1.
His department will be overseeing the application process of picking and choosing the best homeless veterans for these homes.
Vincent spoke about the importance of having a community when rehabilitating and the importance of feeling like you belong.
“You cannot tell me of one societal change that hasn’t happened in this great country without the first of a community getting together and making it happen, civil rights, equal rights, gender rights, and it’s about time we start talking about housing rights,” said Vincent.
Next to these tiny homes is a community center, shared bathrooms, showers, and laundry, commercial kitchen, medical clinic, community lounge and storage.
According to Vincent the tenants will have to sign a lease, and his department will work with the individual on the terms of that lease.
This story was originally published by KHON 2 here.