Homelessness meeting at Kihei Community Center draws over 70 people

The South Maui Community & KCA turned out for second meeting

10/31/17 # kihei
OK, did you miss this meeting too? You gave no input on how to best spend $1.5 M in South Maui to alleviate the homelessness problem?

Last evening, decision makers heard from maybe thirty guys, certainly more than they did at the first meeting (SEE http://gokihei.org/volunteer/homelessness-meeting-this-morning-brings-out-mostly-organization-guys), If you do not offer input, your complaints about the decisions made may be ignored. The meeting was scheduled for two hours and while a few left before the conclusion, many remained after 7:30.

For KCA we had a quorum with seven directors present, as well as a few 2018 Board nominees and several general members too.

It is our understanding that this $1.5 M was collected from various south Maui developers to be used for work force housing as part of the county process to approve their developments. The funds were handed over to Ke Hale A Ke Ola (KHAKO) in 2004, and have sat here dormant for thirteen years. As one attendee stated, how much more could have been done with that amount of money thirteen years ago!  How much less now? We are extremely appreciative of South Maui’s Kelly King for discovering this “windfall,” and bringing it to our community via these public meetings. 

To be clear the KHAKO executive director Monique Yamashita has been in place less than two years, so this is not on her, but who was responsible for letting this drastically needed money earmarked for this dire South Maui need lay dormant for over a decade??

But now that it  has been uncovered, what is the best use of it in 2018? Apparently the original plan was to create a facility in South Maui similar to the KHAKO one in West Maui, but at this point that is financially impossible. But Monique explained that with approval of her organization, the developers who contributed and the county government, another somewhat related use can be put in place. She has been communicating with the developers and expects they will agree to any reasonable proposal.

Our expectation is the plan will either go towards a resource center to help the homeless community or use the $1.5 M in some way to access additional funding for this use.

Stay tuned.

South Maui Councilor Kelly King has organized these meetings

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4 Responses to “Homelessness meeting at Kihei Community Center draws over 70 people”

  1. I was at the Monday night meeting (was not on island for the first meeting). I was a little disappointed to hear the restrictions on the $1.5M to follow the footprint of the other KHAKO facility… $1.5M doesn’t go very far when you include a building-facility! I prefer the idea of using vacant land up by the Maui Police Dept in Kihei to create a campground with toilets, showers, maybe with washing machines (line drying), and picnic tables where these folks could take their meals (perhaps delivered by the “faith organizations” that currently feed the homeless at churches & around town and at beach sites. They could provide a small resource shed, staffed with volunteers who provide information about programs, etc.

    I think providing bus transportation tickets for those who demonstrate a need (job interviews, take beach/park clean-up assignments, etc.) would be fine — but I agree with “Cody”, who spoke at the meeting about “taking care of the Aina. The Hawaiian culture included all in the community as “stakeholders”, who contributed to the “good of the whole” — they were not just there for a handout. Learn to fish & care for the rivers & streams & fishpond a, – and be part of the solution! I see too many folks spending all day and all night on the beach(es) or in the park(s), in their public camp, which turns off our visitors as well as our community neighbors – especially, when they are drunk or drugged. The recent closure of the North Shore park on Oahu, which became a trash and sanitation nightmare by the homeless occupation, should be a reminder for us to protect community recreation assets. We cannot turn these community assets into wall-less, free beach-front homes for the homeless, $1.5M might be the appropriate resource for a campground with facilities to provide decent homeless accommodations for those who live without walls.

  2. I’m so disappointed I didn’t hear about this meeting.

    I am good friends with a homeless man in Kihei and I know what he wants/needs the most. A safe, lockable place to sleep and keep his belongings. It could be a 6ft by 8 ft wooden box 6 ft. high or even smaller.
    And a bathroom/shower facility.

    Some piece of land where this could be legally zoned!

  3. Mahalo for adding to the discussion, Jeff. We are not clear what brought you to the website today, but to insure you do not miss important events in So Maui like this, you might consider becoming a KCA member (Click the red button) or at least sign up for KCA News (the blue button) We had information about this 10/30 meeting on this website since the beginning of Oct, & it was featured in the mid month newsletter. Don’t miss the third meeting and invite your friend.

  4. Thank you Mike. I will subscribe and bring my friend to the next meeting.

    Jeff