HONOLULU – A $50,000 grant from Nareit Hawaii to U.S.VETS is funding key projects at Kama‘okū Kauhale that are helping to give its residents a greater sense of independence as they move forward with their daily lives.
Opened to residents in December 2021 on a 1.5-acre parcel in Kapolei next to the U.S.VETS facility, Kama‘okū Kauhale is a master-planned, tiny homes community of 36 permanent housing units, each measuring 100 square feet, for formerly homeless individuals. Residents adhere to the community rules but are free to maintain their own daily schedule and come and go as they please.
Governor Josh Green, M.D., State of Hawai‘i Chief Housing Officer Nani Medeiros, officials from U.S.VETS, and Nareit Hawaii Executive Director Gladys Quinto Marrone participated in a site tour of Kama‘okū Kauhale to see the improvements being made for the community and its residents.
Governor Green said, “Providing affordable housing solutions and resources that enable our homeless residents to rebuild their lives is important to Hawaii’s future and one of our top priorities. Kama‘okū Kauhale is a prime example of what can be accomplished when we are committed and collaborate to end homelessness. We are grateful to Nareit Hawaii for this generous grant and the positive impact it is having for our fellow citizens who call Kama‘okū Kauhale home.”
The Nareit Hawaii grant provides assistance in helping the residents of Kama‘okū Kauhale to live more independently. Some of the support areas include resident and community storage spaces, private resident mailbox units, a modular office for staff to provide supportive services that address resident daily needs, a kitchen for residents to make home-cooked meals, and other amenity features for the community center.
Marrone noted Nareit Hawaii provides grants to support community charitable causes that are important to REITs operating in Hawaii. “The dignity and confidence that comes with living independently is important to all of us,” said Marrone. “U.S.VETS has done an incredible job showing what is possible with Kama‘okū Kauhale in its first year and how the direction of people’s lives can be dramatically improved. We’re pleased to be doing our part to help make this community stronger and giving the people who depend on it a better life.”
Darryl Vincent, Chief Operating Officer of U.S.VETS, said, “We’re proud of the safe, secure and comfortable living environment Kama‘okū Kauhale is providing and how it has given renewed hope to so many people in our community. We thank Nareit Hawaii for this grant and how it’s funding projects that are vital to helping a lot of people who fell on hard times to feel better about themselves and their future in a warm and friendly place they can call their home.”
About Kama‘okū Kauhale by U.S.VETS
Kama‘okū Kauhale is planned, designed, and built from a community-centered concept, and offers a fresh new approach to housing our homeless neighbors with aloha and inclusion. The community consists of permanent, supportive housing units that require a small amount of rent based on personal income. Under the management of U.S.VETS, residents receive ongoing supportive services such as case management, housing and employment assistance, on-site medical care, recreational activities, therapy, and more. Kama‘okū Kauhale is an important resource to help veterans transition from persistent homelessness into a transformative and supportive community that fosters a sense of ‘ohana and ownership among residents. For more information, visit https://usvets.org/kamaoku-kauhale/.