The first residents of Ka Lamaku, a community of tiny homes constructed to house the homeless in Kailua-Kona, are expected to move in this week.
On Monday, HOPE Services workers spent the afternoon under the blazing sun outfitting the 18 tiny homes constructed earlier this month at Hawaii County’s Old Kona Airport Park with move-in kits, including storage containers, buckets and coolers, to welcome the shelter’s first occupants.
“We’re hoping if everything works as it supposed to, a few people are suppose dot move in (today), if not the morning of the first,” said Sharon Hirota, Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim’s executive assistant in charge of homelessness issues.
The temporary shelters, measuring 10-by-8 feet each, will accommodate individuals experiencing homelessness. Each unit can house up to two people.
HOPE Services, which the county has selected as its service provider, will provide 24/7 security, as well as bring in other nonprofits, including health care providers, to provide wraparound services and ultimately connect residents with long-term housing options.
“We’re excited that the project is becoming a reality,” Hirota said. “We are very thankful to the community who has put int heir energy in making this possible.”
Attempts to reach Brandee Menino, HOPE Services CEO, were unsuccessful as of press-time Monday. She previously told West Hawaii Today that more than a dozen individuals camping in front of the organization’s Friendly Place campus had expressed interest in moving to the new shelters at Old Kona Airport Park.