NOT IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD!!!
Helping to Solve Homelessness the Compassionate Way
The affordable housing and homeless crisis had become an unresolved and growing festering sore in Hawaii already before the Covid-19 pandemic, and will likely explode further as rent subsidies and employment for the most-in-need dries up further. While it was hoped that people would become more compassionate during the pandemic, we seem to be back to old norms. Proposed short-term-gap measures or even long-term solutions proposed, whether in Kailua, Kaka`ako, Waikiki, or anywhere else, are often met with the old outcry “NOT IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD” by often misguided local community activists.
So, in Waimanalo, a group of dedicated out-of-the-box thinking persons started to construct a village for local homeless on DLNR land that they hoped to lease, gathering the most-in-need and sick living along the highway in tents at Waimanalo Beach Park and surrounding bushes everywhere inclusive of “Sherwood Forest.” Unfortunately, their limited village site is located in a 100-year flood and tsunami evacuation zone whose issues, among other concerns, have not been resolved.
But why did it have to come to that? Well, the price of Real Estate along with Real Estate speculation, as largely seen throughout Hawaii, increased astronomically over the last 15 years with the seemingly sole focus on the Tourist Industry, so that even just a simple three-bedroom home cannot be purchased for under $700,000 even in Waimanalo. With no “Living Wage” in sight for Hawaii, which totally depends on the Tourist and Military Industry with attractive but high-priced homes largely built for overseas investors, people failing to pay the rent will end up on the streets. And once on the street, how long will it take for one to physically and mentally deteriorate? So, the solution for many was to either move to the Big Island or leave Hawaii while they still had coins in their pockets, or become homeless.
Yes, there are common-sense solutions but we have to think fast, “Out-of-the-Box,” act quickly and work together. One such solution to help solve the homeless crisis in greater Waimanalo and surrounding communities lies at our doorsteps.
WAIMANALO RAINBOW VILLAGE (WRV)
It is herewith proposed to build a truly affordable apartment village adjacent to Highway 72 (Kalanianaole Highway) on 9 acres of the City and County of Honolulu’s 74.76-acre Waimanalo Bay Beach Park parcel, formerly part of Bellows Air Force Station, now also known as Sherwood Forest.
Option 1 would be composed of a two-story apartment complex with a minimum of 448 units (studio, one- and two-bedrooms) that can readily accommodate almost 2,000 residents.
Option 2 would be composed of a three-story apartment complex with a minimum of 672 units (studio, one- and two-bedrooms) that can readily accommodate almost 3,000 residents, but may require a height variance from the permitted height of 25 feet to no more than 27-28 feet.
Situated along Kalanianaole Highway and not directly adjacent to the ocean, expected sea level rise due to Climate Change is mitigated. Buildings are also not located within a 100-year flood zone and constructed to resist hurricanes/tsunamis. A partially self-sustainable farming opportunity for its residents is incorporated with 300 each 10′ x 10′ garden plots, as well as an urban forest composed of over 40 mango trees that screens the development from Kalanianaole Highway and takes advantage of the layer of fertile Mokule`ia Loam that is present there and approximates the downslope boundary of the 100-year flood zone as it extends into a readily mitigated 500-year flood zone.
Sections of the Sherwood Forest land herewith proposed for the Waimanalo Rainbow Village were already proposed for commercial development benefitting the Native Hawaiian Community in the Draft (Oct. 2012) and Final (Nov. 2012) Waimanalo Regional Plans prepared by DHHL (Department of Hawaiian Home Lands) – (please see P.29) in cooperation with the Waimanalo community irrespective of the then present land ownership. However, such proposals were not part of the 2012 Waimanalo Beach Park Final EA (environmental Assessment), whose goal was to serve the greater community through a regional ballpark, now scuttled.
As also recommended in DHHL’s 2011 Waimanalo Regional Plan and initially scheduled for construction funding in 2015 by the State Department of Transportation (DOT), replacement of the nearby single-cell culvert Inoa`ole Stream bridge structure with a multi-cell culvert bridge structure remains a top priority. It would further reduce potential flooding in the community and would also remove some parcels out of the 100-year flood zone, thereby increasing the opportunity for further such development. The proposed Inoa`ole Stream bridge project also includes improvements to roadway approaches, a possible detour road, and utility relocations. State DOT assessed a detour road option through Bellows Air Force Base, and submitted a draft environmental assessment with design in 2009.
With the 2012 Waimanalo Beach Park Final EA as an initial road map and “Out-of-the-Box” thinking by State and County agencies, a truly affordable housing center/village could be readily established as an alternative that would help to solve the local affordable housing and homeless crisis. People forced to temporarily live in tsunami evacuation zones, hiding in Sherwood Forest, in bushes everywhere, clinging to their tents along the State Highway out of the “forbidden zone” of the City and County of Honolulu-owned Waimanalo Beach Park, could then perhaps again live and die as human beings unless the community wants to deny these people to live near and enjoy the beach. Do we all care? We will see. And we must remember that they are not only former Waimanalo residents. They have also congregated here from throughout the islands and are forced to hide while the Tourist Industry is trying to further expand its footprint here. Enacting more laws to force them “out of sight” of the tourists and the attempts of some local activists to keep homeless solutions that include even Native Hawaiians from outside the area from becoming a reality in Waimanalo (such as Keep Waimanalo Waimanalo) is not a humane solution.
While the Waimanalo solution cannot be applied so easily everywhere else, we must acknowledge that the stumbling blocks are actually us. Political rhetoric instead of moral leadership resolves nothing and just makes long-term situations worse. If we open up our minds
and hearts now, we can not only stem but eradicate the homeless crisis that we ourselves have largely created with our selfish “Out of Sight and Not in Our Neighborhood” rational.
Project Site Background
The project site history and background/overview below attempts to provide a summary based on facts grounded in science and was gathered from historical sources as well as recent newspaper articles and personal knowledge.
During the 1870s, the proposed Waimanalo Rainbow Village site became part of the Waimanalo Sugar Plantation and in 1917 part of the new 1,500-acre Military Reservation, later known as Bellows Air Force Station. In 1966, 74.76 acres that also comprise the proposed 9-acre project site were transferred from the military to the State of Hawai`i. Renamed “Waimanalo State Recreation Area,” the state land was managed by the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Division of State Parks. While State Parks implemented outdoor recreational uses for the public along the beach inclusive of camping and picnic areas, the project site along the highway was left alone. After having been abandoned by the military, it had been naturally revegetated with fast-growing non-native, invasive plant species such as haole koa (Leucaena leucocephala), a small/shrubby, non-native tree, and had subsequently become a hang-out during the 1960s for at times less-desirable elements of society (not the typical homeless) with the romantic name of Sherwood Forest apparently coined during such period.
In 1992, the Park, inclusive of the proposed “Sherwood” project site, was transferred to the City and County of Honolulu instead of DHHL (Department of Hawaiian Home Lands) as desired by the greater Hawaiian community, and the Department of Parks and Recreation became the Park`s manager. DHHL’s 2011 Waimanalo Regional Plan, prepared in cooperation with the local Hawaiian community, subsequently recommended that sections of the Sherwood Forest site now proposed for the Waimanalo Rainbow Village be earmarked for commercial development benefitting largely the Native Hawaiian community irrespective of the then-present land ownership. Based on earlier community support as expressed by the Waimanalo Neighborhood Board, the City and County of Honolulu also proposed in its 2012 Waimanalo Beach Plan Final EA to improve the site with a $32 mil. master-planned regional ballfield with up to 470 parking stalls, with the first phase consisting of a $1.43 mil. ballfield with parking not directly benefiting the Native Hawaiian community, to start in 2019.
In early 2019 community activists were quick to focus their objection on the regional aspect of the proposed master-planned regional ballfield with up to 470 parking stalls “because of its potential to bring in more tourism and development”, initially citing environmental concerns and traffic problems. They then turned their opposition into a case of desecration of a sacred site, as such a cause could and would gain the support of many Native Hawaiians and bring the City to relinquish the site to them as they could then apparently fight any type of development on site. However, while initially successful, it has divided the community.
The Oahu Island Burial Council’s chairwoman perhaps summed it up succinctly by stating that “park opponents shouldn’t use the issue of Hawaiian burials to fight the project and that the council should not be held liable if the burials are not the actual reason the
community wants to stop the project. Before it was a cultural issue, construction at Waimanalo Bay Beach Park was met with opposition because of its potential to bring in more tourism and development to the neighborhood.”
She also clarified that opponents of the ballpark had asked the Burial Council to support the effort to halt the regional ballpark construction by looking into the presence of ancient Hawaiian burials. “If I go back (to opponents) and I’m challenged again, I’m going to say you (city archaeologists) came before us, and according to what you presented, there’s no immediate cause for our presence to be invoked,” (2019 10-10 Star Advertiser: “Burial Council accepts findings of no ancestral remains at Sherwood Forest”).
When the plan for the regional ballfield was scuttled by the mayor in June 2020 as it had become controversial and divided the Hawaiian community, the proposed Waimanalo Rainbow Village became the humane and logical alternative to the 2011 DHHL and the 2012 Department of Parks and Recreation proposals, as it benefits the greater community.
It is said that among Native Hawaiians, human remains are believed to retain the mana, or essence, of the deceased. That mana connects the dead with those still living and becomes part of the land, physically and spiritually. Have we forgotten this? So, let us connect the mana again with all of us as envisioned with the Waimanalo Rainbow Village, as homelessness, truly affordable housing, jobs, and purpose and meaning in life are the festering sores that still largely affect the Native Hawaiian community almost everywhere.
Alohahawaiionipaa (AHOP.org) has subsequently reached out to community activists that were able to successfully shut down the proposed regional ballpark site in the hopes that we can all work together to accomplish the dream of a Waimanalo Rainbow Village adjacent to the highway at the Waimanalo Bay Beach Park. With the lingering Covid-19 pandemic, the needs of our own community and everyone around us has changed again dramatically in just a short time. So, let us hold hands and listen to our hearts and minds to accomplish this.
There was initially little opposition to Waimanalo`s Councilmember Ikaika Anderson’s March 2019 Newsletter outlining the regional ballpark project nor during the subsequent introduction to the Waimanalo Neighborhood Board. But when the first bulldozers were scheduled to appear and actually did, Native Hawaiian project opponent activists quickly seized the opportunity along with the use of Social Media to rally people against the project first on environmental grounds such as the bulldozers and the hoary bat issue. While some in the community initially wanted to have the money shifted to other community projects, others wanted to shut it down because of concerns about additional traffic and people from outside the community invading. However, community activists, also members of the Neighborhood Board, quickly expanded their opposition to the whole Waimanalo Beach Bay Park by declaring it a sacred site (and their “Plymouth Rock” where the Polynesians supposedly first landed when discovering the Hawaii Islands between 1,500-2,000 years ago) because of the iwi (human bones) found over the years within the immediate dune area of the 75-acre park. They then also included the proposed regional ballpark site some distance away from the dunes in this declaration.
2019-2020 Timeline Pertaining to the Regional Ballpark Issue
March 2019 Waimanalo City Council member Anderson’s Project Newsletter
When the city allocated 1.4 mil for Phase 1 of the regional ballpark project and work was ready to start, Waimanalo City Council member Anderson, a then strong supporter of the project, outlined it in his March 2019 newsletter.
April 8, 2019 Waimanalo Neighborhood Board Meeting
The Mayor’s representative, Director Jim Howe, Honolulu Emergency Services Department, outlined Waimanalo Bay Master Plan and time lines for the ballfield project to start.
2019 April 17 10 A.M. Regular Honolulu City Council meeting
While not on the agenda, opponents of the ballfield project in Waimanalo suddenly intimidatingly occupy part of the City Council chamber public seats, disrupt the City County meeting with placards, catcalls, and whistles, claiming that the proposed project would cause irrefutable harm to the environment and threaten the endangered Hoary bats. They also vilify Native Hawaiian Board member Anderson as he is supporting the project and demand that the City Council does not install him as Board president as was scheduled. The City Council nevertheless voted unanimously to elevate him as its chair.
Since CR-68 Bill 85 (2018) relating to vacation rentals and CR-69 Bill 89 (2018) pertaining to short-term rentals were the main agenda items, it greatly disrupted the time table of the overflow crowd extending into the hallways, scheduled to speak on these issues.
2019 5-1 Mayor Caldwell’s Letter outlines the 2012 Waimanalo Bay Beach Master Plan
It explains/outlines the 2012 Waimanalo Bay Beach Master Plan and present funding for Phase 1 of the proposed ballfield project.
2019 5-3 Letter from City Council Chair Ikaika Anderson to Mayor Caldwell
Since the opposition to the ballfield project focused initially almost entirely on the Hoary Bat issue in order to stop it, City Council Chair Anderson now forwards a letter to the mayor, requesting to stop grubbing of plants (stop the project) during the Hoary Bat breeding season June 15 – to Sept. 15 (this would also provide community activists time to further galvanize opposition through Social Media).
2019 5-13/15 Waimanalo Neighborhood Board Resolution to stop all development
With community activists opposing the ballpark development, the resolution cites thousands on signatures collected. These signatures largely came from people unfamiliar with the project and claims by the opponents that the project would harm the environment (i.e., hoary bats).
Traffic, out-of-town visitors, and tourists are largely cited by local Hawaiians objecting.
2019 5-16 Waimanalo Beach Master Plan Opposition calls meetings in Waimanalo
Largely not well-informed local residents attend the meeting, fearing a raping and destruction of Sherwood Forest and their community. Project opponents and their supporters are very vocal, some even raising fists intimidatingly, and project proponents largely speak up sparingly.
2019 5-1x Sherwood Forest informal opposition meetings
People were asked about the future of the contested Sherwood Forest project site and it was suggested by some that it could serve as a Hawaiian Cultural Center, etc. The opposition project coordinator stated that this was a good idea.
2019 5-23 Arson Suspected As Bulldozer, Excavator Burn at the regional ballfield project site
Words and actions have consequences.
“Firefighters responded to an alarm around 10:30 p.m. and found a bulldozer and an excavator on fire at the ballpark project site. The blaze was under control by 10:42 p.m. and fully extinguished by 11:41 p.m., the department said.
No injuries were reported, but about $200,000 in damage was done to the excavator and another $50,000 to the bulldozer (of the project contractor’s equipment), the department said. The case was referred to the Honolulu Police Department for further investigation.”
2019 8-11/12 Opponents of Project put up 92 crosses to represent iwi “found.”
Project opponents are elevating their cause against the project to it being a sacred native Hawaiian site. Over the weekend the emotional issue of “iwi/bones of ancestors” In the area” is now brought up though they know that no iwi had been found on the project site itself during previous investigation dating back to 1971 as the 92 individual “iwi” (not individual burials) they refer to were found in the dunes facing the beach. Native Hawaiian project proponents that had worked on these sensitive cultural issues have a rough time being heard but state ”There are no iwi on the place of the park (the project site). Period. There is iwi at Sherwood Forest but not on site. I don’t know how many times we have to repeat this over and over.”
But to shut the regional ballfield project down and claim the whole park as a historical heritage site, cultural artifacts and iwi need to be found.
2019 8-12 Waimanalo Neighborhood Board mtg. Opponents claim it a sacred site.
Faced with opposition, the mayor declares that the City of Honolulu now only plans to go forward with the construction of phase 1 of the plan, which includes a multi-field sports complex, an 11-stall parking lot, a playground, and planting of trees at a cost of $1.5 million, $300,000 of which has already been spent.
While the previous evening, Sunday, the group Save Our Sherwoods had met in front of the park, holding a vigil for what they called the potential desecration of a Native Hawaiian burial site, the Mayor’s office refutes this claim, presenting evidence along with a map of the burial sites, stating:
“This is incorrect. In 1971, UH Professor Pierson found two burials within the boundaries of Waimānalo Bay Beach Park that were left in place. Pierson’s work was far removed from the current project (see attached Previous Testing Map). In 1978 archaeologist David Cox found one burial and a single mandible (jaw) that were left in place. One of these findings is near the waterline excavations, but archaeological monitoring will ensure that these remains are not further disturbed. In 1991, 22 sets of human remains that were from the Bellows Sand Dune Area were reinterred in a burial vault in the southern end of the park, far removed from the current project area (see attached Previous Testing Map). Monitoring of the site has been conducted for the current project and no human remains have been found.”
Opponents disagreed and further stated “the project site/the park is on the National Registry of Historic Places and then billed it as the landing site of the first Polynesians that discovered and settled on the Hawaiian Islands. The City responds that is not correct, pointing out that “The southern edge of the National Register site boundary stops at the boundary between the Bellows Air Field and the Waimānalo Bay Beach Park.”
Opponents are also upset that the city plans to use herbicides on areas of the park that are paved with asphalt. The city clarified that they will only use herbicides under applicable laws.
However, Native Hawaiian District Councilmember Ikaika Anderson wants Mayor Caldwell to pause the construction of phase 1 of the project. He states that he had asked him multiple times to do this even though “he feels personally that the Waimanalo Bay Beach Park master plan is a solid plan that was adequately, more than adequately, vetted in the community. But that said, there are many in the community, there’s a sizable segment of the community, that feels otherwise and I respect those voices and those positions. So, to give those folks some time to talk story and to give all of us as a community some time to talk story I feel we should pause at this point, and I wish the mayor would hear that.”
2019 9-26 Opponents block Highway 72 access and grading equipment and get arrested
On Thursday September 26, the daily protests on the project site boiled over with 28 project opponents being arrested for blocking the highway access and equipment to do their job. Over the weekend protesters then sued the City of Honolulu to stop the project.
2019 9-28 Project opponents claim cultural artifact found (Hawaii News Now)
Mayor Kirk Caldwell said Tuesday that work is being temporarily halted 2019 10-3 “out of an abundance of caution” as archaeologists with the state Office of Historic Preservation try to determine what the object is ― and whether its discovery means other items could be in the same area.
But he also casts doubt on assumptions that the object is a sort of ancient, man-made tool, stating “We’ll wait to see what they have to say and move forward at that time. We’re going to follow all the protocols and make sure that everything is done properly.”
Two project archaeologists who examined the item state they don’t believe it was man- made and that it is likely a military remnant.
2019 10-10 Burial Council accepts findings of no ancestral remains at Sherwood Forest
The Oahu Island Burial Council said at its meeting on Wednesday, October 9, where it heard a presentation from city archaeologists, that “there do not appear to be any burials at the project site.”
The Council’s chairwoman stated that opponents of the park have asked the Burial Council to support the effort to halt park construction by looking into the presence of ancient Hawaiian burials. “If I go back (to opponents) and I’m challenged again, I’m going to say you (city archaeologists) came before us, and according to what you presented, there’s no immediate cause for our presence to be invoked.” .
She further stated that park opponents shouldn’t use the issue of Hawaiian burials to fight the project and that the council should not be held liable if the burials are not the actual reason the community wants to stop the project. Before it was a cultural issue, construction at Waimanalo Bay Beach Park was met with opposition because of its potential to bring in more tourism and development to the neighborhood.
The city’s presentation included a summary and map of the project area and the 40 years of archaeological digs performed there. Seventeen coring sites covering less than half the area of the project site were identified on the map, although other forms of testing have been performed there. The council pointed out the high number of coring samples done in other parts of the Waimanalo Bay Beach Park and stated that they would have liked to see it done for the project site.
2019 11-15 to 2020 2-7 Major Caldwell tries to find political solution “for his legacy.”
The city has not released an official timeline for Phase I to continue. It has been on hold since October 3. SOS (Save Our Sherwoods) has now cleared a campsite at the Sherwood Forest gate that had been up for months, but several opponents of further construction are still camping on site.
The mayor, largely working confidentially with opponents of the project between October 15- and January 12 who had also filed a lawsuit, announced two settlement proposals during the January 13, 2020 Waimanalo Neighborhood Board meeting. He apparently tried to find a political solution for his legacy as it was not worth it anymore to spend his political capital on the project, as it had become clear that opponents could rally supporters at any time through Social media to disrupt the project further as well as tie it up through their lawsuit.
Resolution #1 would rescind most of the original Waimanalo Bay Beach Park Master Plan introduced in 2012 (a $32 million sports complex and a 470-stall parking lot), only allowing “in some form” the completion of Phase I of the plan, a 4-acre, $1.34 million project that would have included a multipurpose field and an 11-stall parking lot. Resolution 2 would rename Sherwood Forest, also known as Waimanalo Bay Beach Park, to Hunananiho Cultural and Historical Park.
Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Managing Director Roy Amemiya, and Save Our Sherwoods (SOS) board members Kalani Kalima and Kuike Kamakea-Ohelo were apparently at the center of those meetings.
But a Jan. 27 email from Maureeen Harnish, Friends of Sherwood Forest, opposed the settlement, stating that the resolutions are vague and would allow more of Phase I to be completed. All are apparently members of the lawsuit filed against the city on Sept. 26 regarding the project, which alleges that the city did not adequately address potential congestion and traffic problems in the community and also failed to recognize Sherwood Forest’s cultural importance and listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
When Mayor Caldwell tried to submit the resolutions on Jan. 30 to the City Council, Native Hawaiian Council Chairman Ikaika Anderson, whose district includes Waimanalo, would not introduce it, stating that the meetings between Caldwell and self- appointed members of SOS were “insulting” to the community and left out supporters of the project (who had by that time largely been marginalized), including himself.
“The two resolutions come from an illegitimate process,” Anderson further stated. “Love it or hate it, the original master plan resulted from a recognized, legitimate process.”
Anderson said he found out about the meetings after they started, and when he asked the Caldwell administration that he be allowed to participate, he was denied. He said he was invited to the last meeting but was given the wrong date.
Alternatives to the ballpark site were not even considered and its proponents were therefore also excluded from the mayor’s confidential/secret negations with opponents of the regional ballpark project.
2020 4-7 Caldwell Stops Waimanalo Project ‘Indefinitely’ After Bone Discovery
After Mayor Caldwell again expressed his strong support for the project, and construction crews resumed grading at the construction site along the highway at Waimanalo Bay Beach Park on Monday morning, April 6, coincidentally the same afternoon, a 3-inch upper arm bone fragment was found. The next day the mayor announced the find and stated “All work in the area of the fragment was stopped, in about a 100-foot area around the fragment. Right now, construction continues in areas away from the bone fragment.” “The city’s archeological firm would talk with the state’s historic preservation division and members of Save Our Sherwoods, a nonprofit opposed to the project, to discuss next steps.”
The mayor then suddenly stopped the project the following day, stating “My greatest concern is for the health and safety of our community. I greatly support the first amendment rights of all members of our community, but I am greatly concerned with gatherings during this time. Therefore, in order to allow for people to focus on staying at home during this time, I am going to pause this project while we consult with the appropriate entities.”
In his written statement, Caldwell said the city will continue to consult with officials from historic preservation division and the Oahu Burial Council. “I continue to believe this is a project that can be valuable to the future of the Waimanalo community,” the mayor said. “I urge everyone to continue to follow the stay-at-home order to keep yourselves and your family safe during this time.”
2020 6-18 Caldwell Pulls Plug On Sherwood Forest Project
Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced Thursday that the city will not proceed with construction of a ballfield at Waimanalo Bay Beach Park (adjacent to the highway)—or larger redevelopment plans for the area known as Sherwood Forest.
“I’ve made the decision that this administration is pau with the field and master plan,” Caldwell said in a press release.
“The next steps are up to this community to determine, but it is time for the land and our community to heal.”
Alohahawaiionipaa.org officially initiates the Waimanalo Rainbow Village proposal to provide truly affordable housing as a humane and much needed alternative to the regional ballpark project now officially scuttled by the mayor.
Let Us All Make It Happen!
In response to the mushrooming homeless and affordable housing crisis that is being further exasperated by the developing homeless avalanche because of the Covid pandemic, the Waimanalo Rainbow Village is proposed as a truly meaningful solution to arrest the oncoming avalanche, and also to provide residents with a productive and meaningful life.
The Waimanalo Rainbow Village, at its completion, is expected to provide a minimum of 672 truly affordable apartment rental units with balconies for about 3,000 residents, focusing on employable homeless, families with children, and the elderly. Initial preference should be given to those that live in Waimanalo, have transitioned (or have attempted to do so) through social service facilities such as Waimanalo’s Ohana Weinberg Village, the Institute of Human Services, the Salvation Army, religious charities, or have formed their own homeless support units as seen in Waimanalo.
The bicycle-friendly location within walking distance of the Waimanalo Health Center is providing direct access to the adjacent public beach park and beaches and features a minimum of three hundred 100-sq.-ft. garden plots, along with an almost 1-acre urban forest community and gathering place consisting of mango trees screening the project from the adjacent highway. Situated along the City’s bus route, the site provides direct access not only to Honolulu but to everywhere within Oahu.
The project’s public support signature drive, greatly curtailed by the pandemic and despite of it, was initiated on January 10, 2021 with the three project theme paintings completed. We were truly surprised about its immediate initial local response and project support from the truly homeless desiring shelter and employment.
Since initial signature drive surveys in Waimanalo focused on homeless citizens living in tents and vehicles, requested needs so far have centered on affordable studios. The project’s housing design, which will keep the monthly rental prices for studios at $300, 1-bdr. at $500, and 2-bdr. at $700 w/o utilities except for water, is therefore being continuously updated in light of these needs.
At the same time, we are staying attuned to the latest information provided in the news about accelerating needs for low-income housing and are evaluating present private and public projects, their costs and possible impacts on reducing the avalanche of homelessness. As we stated previously, the key is, and will remain, affordability.
However, the reality is that even such a project cannot succeed without the vision, commitment and support of the elected officials and their representatives truly coming together, from the Governor, the Senate, and the City down to the community.
Signature Drive Sheets for Downloading
Star Advertiser newspaper article on December 20, 2020