- Associated Press - Sunday, June 19, 2016

HONOLULU (AP) - A Sand Island shelter that has put 60 people into permanent housing since its November opening is getting touches of home.

Dozens of volunteers have helped with the landscaping project for Hale Mauliola, Hawaii News Now reported (https://bit.ly/1rvOlu8 ). The facility provides temporary housing and services to individuals, couples and pet owners.

Work is expected to be finished by the end of the week.

Institute of Human Services executive director Connie Mitchell said officials want to make the area more hospitable.

“As you know, Hale Mauliola is out here at Sand Island and it’s really hot,” Mitchell said. “We really wanted to make it a more hospitable place and have some landscaping that would really make that punch to have people feel like, hey, this is really neat.”

The agency partnered with Home Depot on the project.

“I think our project is really letting our community know that we’re constantly trying to think of innovative ways to serve our homeless people,” Mitchell said. “We want people to come off the street and really accommodate them.”

Kapolei Home Depot manager Amare Belay said giving back to the community is part of the company’s values.

“We build the river rock and then we’re going to have … about 48 whiskey barrels of plants,” he said. “Eventually, we’re also going to build a vegetable garden for them.”

KHON-TV reported last year that the shelter is made up of shipping container housing units.

About 80 people are currently living at Hale Mauliola.


Information from: KGMB-TV, https://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/

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