County Displays Portable Shelter in Kona to Raise Awareness of Need to Help Homeless
The County of Hawai’i is displaying a portable shelter on the lawn of the West Hawai’i Civic Center in Kona this week as a way of raising awareness of the need to join hands to help the homeless of our community.
The 20-foot diameter fiberglass dome was loaned to the County by the First Assembly of God in Moanalua on O‘ahu following a faith-based summit to address family homelessness in Hawai‘i earlier this month.
Public Works crews assembled the dome, which is a series of interlocking panels complete with windows, on a platform, within an hour and a half. The shelter was on display on the County Building lawn in Hilo last week.
The dome is one of 10 that the O‘ahu congregation uses to house homeless families on its church property. Visitors in Kona are flocking to inspect the 20-feet diameter dome, which is furnished and even includes a beautiful Hawaiian rug donated by Indich Collection.
“The community is really coming together to support what we want to do to help our homeless neighbors,” said Deputy Managing Director Barbara Kossow. “I hear really positive feedback from the business community in particular, who are offering help.”
The County is developing a master plan to address our homeless crisis, and the domes are among the options that are being considered to provide temporary shelters. The comprehensive, multi-pronged plan addresses not only houselessness, but also mental health issues, workforce development, health and hygiene, financial literacy and education in an effort to tackle the many causes of homelessness.
A broad coalition of the County, State, churches, non-profits, businesses, and other concerned citizens is rallying to help. The ultimate goal is to graduate the people who are helped into affordable housing, jobs and a better future.