(BIVN) – The site of a future emergency shelter across the street from the West Hawai‘i Civic Center in Kealakehe was blesse last week, as officials broke ground on the Kukuiola project.
On Thursday, January 26, Governor Josh Green and Hawaiʻi County Mayor Mith Roth attended the event, joined by officials with the County of Hawai‘i Office of Housing and Community Development and its partners, Tinguely Development, Inc. and Hawai’i Housing Finance and Development Corporation.
The planned Kukuiola emergency shelter and assessment center is located adjacent to the proposed Kealakehe Regional Park. When completed, “the Kukuiola community will provide a safe and welcoming environment for all who seek assistance in connecting to an emergency shelter, appropriate case management services and permanent housing opportunities,” officials say.
“What’s unfolding at Kukuiola and Laʻiʻopua’s Village 9 is a fine example of how the state and the county can partner to provide housing options for a broad segment of a region such as West Hawai‘i,” said Gov. Green. “This is yet another example of the kauhale vision making an impact on our communities.”
“We are excited that Kukuiola will become a reality,” said Mayor Roth. “Our administration is committed to providing vital services and safe housing for our vulnerable, houseless populations.”
Kumu Keala Ching performed the blessing during the event. In a news release, Ching explained the significance of the Kukuiola name. “Within everyone of us reflects the perfect light of life (Kukuiola), yet we are challenged throughout our journey (Kukui‘ole) – extinguished light,” Ching said. “Located at Kealakehe, the journey of the spirit, Kukuiola allows those challenged to rekindle their existing light (Kukuiola).”