HONOLULU – Feb. 3, 2023 – A $10,000 grant from Nareit Hawaii to the nonprofit Women In Need is supporting families living in the Kealaula on Pua Loke housing project on Kauai to fulfill basic needs and help them successfully transition from being homeless to having their own home.
Opened in Lihue in December 2020, Kealaula on Pua Loke is a tiny homes community of 15 single-story duplex buildings offering 22 one-bedroom units and six studio units, each with its own bathroom and kitchen, and use of a shared community building for activities and events. Currently, 20 families, six individuals, and two kupuna live in the 28 housing units. They can live in the community for up to two years as they work to permanently transition out of homelessness.
Women In Need staff members manage the community and provide residents with both social services support and the teaching of skills needed for them to go forward with a plan to be self-sufficient. The services provided include medical care, financial advice, employment and educational support, addressing substance abuse, recovering from domestic violence, and parenting life skills.
The Nareit Hawaii grant fills a funding gap in complementing the efforts of Women In Need, being utilized to help Kealaula on Pua Loke residents purchase basic essentials to stock their units, such as laundry soap, dish soap, toilet paper, and toothpaste, items they didn’t have to buy while homeless.
Women In Need Executive Director Mary Scott-Lau noted Kealaula on Pua Loke is the first transitional housing project of its type in Hawaii and producing results that is making Kauai a stronger community. “To date Women In Need has provided services to 55 households, of which 26 have successfully transitioned into permanent housing,” Scott-Lau said. “Our residents are transitioning from different walks of life and may need extra assistance in adjusting to their new home. These funds from Nareit Hawaii assist us in providing additional support and services that our residents need at Kealaula.”
Also participating in the recognition of the $10,000 grant from Nareit Hawaii to Women In Need was Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami, along with Housing Director Sharon Graham, Housing Navigator Leialoha Sanchez, Case Manager Kristi Rita, and Case Manager Crystal Caday-Bargayo of Women In Need.
“We are truly thankful for Nareit Hawaii’s generosity to Women In Need and the community of Kealaula on Pua Loke,” said Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami. “This grant will continue to support Women In Need to provide residents with necessities, social support services, and the knowledge needed to transition out of homelessness.”
Nareit Hawaii Executive Director Gladys Quinto Marrone praised the devotion of Women In Need in guiding Kauai families to turn their lives around. “In just its first two years, Women In Need has already established an admirable record and shown what is possible when a community commits housing resources to get people off the streets and into homes,” Marrone said. “We’re honored to be their partner in supporting the residents of Kealaula on Pua Loke as they work toward a better life.”
About Women In Need / Kealaula on Pua Loke
Women in Need is an established Hawaii nonprofit that operates existing transitional housing facilities on Kauai and Oahu and provides residents with necessary social services. Kealaula on Pua Loke is part of the 2018 Act 209 ‘Ohana Zone Pilot Program, which earmarked $30 million in state funding to establish ‘Ohana Zones on Oahu, Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui. Funding for Kauai’s ‘Ohana Zone project consists of $2 million appropriated from the state for construction costs, $2.3 million from the State Department of Human Services for two years of services at the facility, and $1.5 million from the County of Kauai Housing Agency for construction expenses. The County selected Women in Need as its partner in Kauai’s ‘Ohana Zone project. For more information, please visit www.winhi.org.