Posted on Feb 15, 2024 in Featured, Latest Department News, Newsroom, Office of the Governor Press Releases





Third kauhale will provide long-term, deeply affordable housing for at least 50 people experiencing homelessness



February 15, 2024


HONOLULU — Governor Josh Green, M.D., HomeAid Hawai‘i and the Hawai‘i Health & Harm Reduction Center (H3RC), gathered today to bless the state’s third kauhale, named Ho‘okahi Leo, on Middle Street. Ho‘okahi Leo means ‘a community with one voice’ and it was chosen from within the community that will call this kauhale home. This new kauhale will provide housing for people in the community who are houseless and would benefit from community building, cultural, and clinical support. Ho‘okahi Leo is part of a larger plan to cut unsheltered homelessness in half during the Governor’s first term.

“When our unhoused neighbors have a roof over their heads, without time limits or other conditions that force them back to the streets, they are healthier and so are our communities,” said Governor Green. “Like the other two kauhale we have established in our term, this kauhale is an intentional community. It will serve as a healing home for many people, creating a village for people to support one another and make them feel like they are home.” 

Ho‘okahi Leo will provide formerly houseless neighbors with long-term housing.

“Ho‘okahi Leo will address the significant lack of deeply affordable community spaces that until now, has meant that homeless individuals were often cycled in and out of temporary shelters, waiting for housing they can afford,” said John Mizuno, statewide homeless coordinator with the Statewide Office on Homelessness and Housing Solutions. “This project and the Governor’s broader Kauhale Initiative will fill this gap, providing both deep affordability and a sense of community.”

H3RC is the state’s operating partner for Ho‘okahi Leo, which will provide housing for at least 50 people at a time, including restroom facilities, shower trailers, a laundry facility, office space for care coordination, 24-7 security, 24-7 intake/management staff, and peer support. The kauhale will have the capacity to address the needs of people who are or could become homeless and who would benefit from a welcoming, safe, stable, supportive, trauma-informed place to continue recovery.

Laura Mae Duclayan, who has lived unhoused for many years at Sand Island Beach Park, said, “Many of us have waited years for a place to call home. Not a temporary shelter or transitional place, but somewhere that gives us stability and the opportunity to rebuild a sense of community. Many of us are ready for this move and to take kuleana for building a village together.”

Harm reduction is foundational to any kauhale, but this approach was specifically requested by those in the area who would benefit from this particular kauhale.

H3RC Executive Director Heather Lusk noted that the organization is already working with unsheltered individuals in the area to prepare them for the move home. Lusk added, “It’s been exciting to engage people experiencing houselessness in the planning process for the kauhale. It’s an opportunity to build a sense of belonging, ownership, and responsibility among residents that will be key to the kauhale’s success.”

Support services provided by H3RC will include interpersonal engagement, community-building activities, cultural support, and wellness programming. Clinical support services include telehealth, linkage with medical and behavioral health care, wound care, and care coordination. The site will be wheelchair accessible, but eligible individuals need to be able to perform activities of daily living (e.g., showering and using the bathroom) with minimal assistance.

Ho‘okahi Leo, like its sister-kauhale Ka Malu Ko‘olau in Kāne‘ohe, and the previous medical respite kauhale known as Pūlama Ola, was built by HomeAid Hawaiʻi. It is the state’s nonprofit development partner for Governor Green’s Kauhale Initiative statewide. HomeAid Executive Director Kimo Carvalho noted that “with critical infrastructure challenges that have delayed construction for nearly four years, we are grateful our policy tools have allowed us the opportunity to quickly build a housing solution for a homeless community that has been promised these homes.”

“The total cost of this development would have been a total of $1.7M,” Carvalho said. “Through our partnerships with the building industry, including contractors who brought in pro-bono labor and donated materials and supplies, the total cost for this site was $1.2M, a 29% savings,” he said.

Photos from today’s kaulahe blessing are uploaded here. Photo credit: Office of the Governor.


About HomeAid Hawaiʻi

HomeAid Hawai‘i is a nonprofit developer focused on building housing solutions for the homeless. HomeAid Hawai‘i was established in 2015 as the fifteenth local chapter and affiliate of HomeAid, Inc. Over the past eight years, HomeAid Hawai‘i has led the development of 15 projects that constructed or renovated more than 335,000 square feet of space designed to serve those experiencing or at-risk of homelessness. For more information, visit

About the Hawaiʻi Health and Harm Reduction Center

The Hawaiʻi Health and Harm Reduction Center serves Hawaiʻi communities by reducing the harm and fighting the stigma of HIV, hepatitis, homelessness, substance use, mental illness, and poverty in our community. We focus our efforts on those disproportionately affected by social determinants of health, including but not limited to: people living with and/or affected by HIV, hepatitis, substance use, and the transgender, LGBQ and the Native Hawaiian communities. We foster health, wellness, and systemic change in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific through care services, advocacy, training, prevention, education, and capacity building.

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Office of the Governor, State of Hawaiʻi     
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