How can you stay at home if you are homeless? Agencies concerned with housing and poverty are aware of the extremely dire circumstances for our homeless populations during the global pandemic. Homelessness makes social distancing difficult. In addition to this handwashing and basic supplies like soap can also be hard to come by in encampments or locked beach parks. While this concern alone should be enough to make us want to house our homeless community members, to not do so also harms the entire community, rich or poor, through the risk of community spread and infection.
Hale Hanakahi was built by community members during the Covid-19 pandemic to house elderly and high-risk individuals in need of shelter and social distancing. Neighborhood Place of Puna worked this summer in partnership with HOPE Services to manage the shelter. Although the shelter recently closed, the Department of Defense will maintain the hale units until a later time if spikes in Covid-19 rise again in our islands. A majority of individuals housed at Hale Hanakahi have been transferred to other supportive housing services on the island.
Are you a family in need of housing? Hale ‘Iki shelter in Puna accepts families with vehicles at our Family Assessment Center in Puna please call (808)956-5550 for inquiries. If you are an individual in need of housing or safe space parking, you may contact HOPE Services at 935-3050.