- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 26, 2016

HONOLULU (AP) - Honolulu officials are planning to expand a homeless shelter that has had success in moving residents into permanent housing since it opened nearly a year ago.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced Tuesday that the Sand Island shelter has had 105 housing placements. Hale Mauliola provides temporary housing and services to individuals, couples and pet owners.

Kimo Carvalho, with the Institute for Human Services, which operates the housing center, said the program has been a “game changer,” KHON-TV reported (http://bit.ly/2fe8eoi ).

“Homeless service providers are much more coordinated,” Carvalho said. “We are receiving referrals from many other providers across Oahu.”

About 30 percent of those housed at the center were chronic homeless who entered the city’s Housing First program, according to IHS. The organization reported that 6 percent of residents found their own apartments and didn’t require government rental subsidies. Two clients who went through the program are now homeowners on the mainland.

“It’s been an amazing thing to watch this community come together to actually have a voice and power them, to actually design solutions so they can actually recover here together and actually be successfully placed into housing,” Carvalho said.

Following the shelter’s successes, the city says it will bring in new units to house an additional 20 people by the end of the year. The expanded space will allow IHS to serve up to 104 clients at one time in 31 housing units. Hale Mauliola currently holds a maximum of 83 guests in 25 units.

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Information from: KHON-TV, http://khon.com

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