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Restoring Hope for Hawaii Homeless Families in Need – Kahauiki Village

Rose Medina Kemna  |  December 25, 2017

Restoring Hope for Hawaii Homeless Families in Need – Kahauiki Village

The issue of homeless families

Inspiration comes when you least expect it. For me, it happened while I was hard at work stopping in at my favorite home improvement store to grab all my supplies for a remodeling project. After paying at the cashier and walking through the exit, the latest issue of Hawaii Home Remodeling caught my eye so I picked up a copy and took it home with me. That night after winding down from a busy day, I opened the magazine for some leisure reading and was immediately taken with the grassroots story of Kahauiki Village, a public-private partnership for building a community that provides housing for homeless families on the island of Oahu.
That’s when it hit me — Realtors like myself are usually writing and focusing on providing information about the latest luxury real estate projects in Kakaako or discussing trends in the marketplace, and giving advice and recommendations to buyers and sellers. But with the holiday season upon us, my thoughts turn to one of the most pressing needs in our community — the issue of homelessness. It’s a top story in the news more and more, and driving around the island it’s evident that it is all around us. It’s a complicated issue that has no easy solution.
Graphic provided by Hawaii Home Remodeling
The numbers are staggering, with 4,959 homeless individuals on Oahu, and out of that number 680 are children. It is heartbreaking to know our most vulnerable citizens, children, are subject to this unfortunate circumstance. That’s why Kahauiki Village stands out to me as a pivotal project that is leading the way in developing a residential community to address one segment of the homeless population on Oahu that we all have a heart for families with children.
Rendering by Lloyd Sueda
I became inspired in reading about the defining moment that led to an idea by Duane Kurisu and Lloyd Sueda — two visionaries, the owner of Hawaii Home Remodeling and the other, a talented architect, who simply were flying home to Oahu from the Big Island one day and saw from the air a piece of land that was 11.3 acres on the island. An idea came to them that it would be the perfect spot to build a community for families that would otherwise be homeless. In that moment, through serendipity, Kahauiki Village was born. Its location is between Nimitz Highway, Keehi Lagoon Beach Park, and Sand Island — making it ideal because of its proximity to public transportation and businesses, allowing working parents easy access to jobs.
The number of homes in Kahauiki Village will start at 30 after the first phase, and the plan is to reach 153 homes when the project is complete. That amounts to a little more than half of the families in transitional housing who will be able to move into their new home, including in that number 323 children. While the stats show that more is needed — Kahauiki Village is making a huge difference in the lives of 153 families and almost half of the children who are living in homeless situations.
This unique project started with two visionary leaders and grew to a team made up of a public-private partnership. “Led by Duane Kurisu, the Kahauiki Village project team and the aio Foundation, dozens of businesses and individuals have helped make this new community a reality, offering their time, resources and materials.” Some of the key players are the State of Hawaii, including Governor Ige, and the City and County of Honolulu, including Mayor Kirk Caldwell. The military is also a significant contributor with the United States Navy and the Hawaii Army National Guard providing time and resources to help with building the homes. There are also numerous businesses who have given their time and resources — too many to name here.
With the holidays on us, if your thoughts are turning to how you can contribute your time or resources to help build a community for homeless families, click on the links above to read more about Kahauiki Village. You can also find an extensive article on Kahauiki Village in the December 2017 issue of Hawaii Home and Remodeling Magazine. Just pick one up next time at your favorite home improvement store. To stay informed and learn more details about this project, visit kahauiki.org and hawaiihomemag.com for updates on the progress of Kahauiki Village.
For more information about the real estate market on the island of Oahu, contact Rose Medina Kemna, Realtor Broker, Hawaii Life Real Estate at (808)497-7673 or [email protected]

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I believe my life's purpose as a Realtor® is to help people navigate the transitions in their lives during the buying and selling process of a home in Hawaii. Born and raised on the island of Oahu, I am passionate about sharing my love for these islands with people from all walks of life.

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