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Celebrating Hoʻokahi Leo

In the heart of Middle Street, amidst the vibrant pulse of Honolulu, a new dawn rises for those seeking refuge and community. Named “Hoʻokahi Leo,” which translates to ‘a community with one voice’ in Hawaiian, this groundbreaking initiative spearheaded by Governor Josh Green, M.D., HomeAid Hawaiʻi, and Hawaiʻi Health & Harm Reduction Center (HHHRC), stands as a testament to compassion, resilience, and the power of collective action. 

 

Governor Green, alongside dedicated advocates and community leaders, recently gathered to bless the opening of Hoʻokahi Leo, the third installment of the state’s innovative kauhale project. With its meaningful name chosen by the very individuals it will embrace, Hoʻokahi Leo represents more than just a shelter; it embodies a sanctuary for healing, belonging, and empowerment. 

 

“At the core of Hoʻokahi Leo lies a profound commitment to restoring dignity and stability to our unhoused neighbors,” expressed Governor Green. “By offering not just housing, but a nurturing environment where individuals can thrive, we are fostering stronger, healthier communities for all.” 

 

The vision for Hoʻokahi Leo extends far beyond mere accommodation. It serves as a beacon of hope, striving to cut unsheltered homelessness in half during the Governor’s tenure. With a focus on long-term solutions, this initiative aims to break the cycle of temporary shelters and provide a pathway to lasting stability. 

 

Managed by the dedicated team at HHHRC, led by Kawai Keaulana, Hoʻokahi Leo stands ready to welcome up to 50 individuals into its fold upon completion of phase two construction. Equipped with essential facilities, round-the-clock security, and comprehensive support services, including peer support, clinical care, and cultural programming, it provides a holistic framework for recovery and empowerment. 

 

Laura Mae Duclayan, who has experienced homelessness for years, spoke of the profound impact Hoʻokahi Leo will have: “For many of us, this isn’t just a place to live; it’s a chance to rebuild our lives and forge meaningful connections. We’re ready to embrace our responsibilities and build a village together.” 

 

At the heart of Hoʻokahi Leo lies a commitment to harm reduction and inclusivity. Heather Lusk, Executive Director of HHHRC, emphasized the importance of engaging residents in the planning process, fostering a sense of ownership and accountability essential for the kauhale’s success. 

 

Supported by HomeAid Hawaiʻi, Hoʻokahi Leo stands as a testament to the power of collaboration and community spirit. Despite infrastructure challenges, the unwavering dedication of partners and donors ensured the realization of this transformative project, underscoring the collective resolve to tackle homelessness head-on. 

 

As Hoʻokahi Leo opens its doors, it symbolizes more than just a shelter; it embodies the promise of a brighter tomorrow, where every voice is heard, and every individual is valued. In the embrace of this compassionate community, hope flourishes, and the journey towards healing begins anew.  

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