John, a resident of Hale Mauliola since November 2019, is moving into a brand new home this month. This is a huge step forward for John, who left school in the sixth grade and spent the last 20 years living in a tent at Kakaako park before connecting with the Institute for Human Services (IHS) through the outreach of Hui Aloha.
At 120 square-feet, this new tiny home inspires John toward a future he never dreamed possible. Window boxes, brimming with pink flowers, bob in the breeze. Its second floor, which is accessible by an interior ladder, even offers glimpses of the ocean.
For the past 10 months, John has been residing in a different unit at Hale Mauliola, a City-sponsored transitional center with about 100 residents managed by IHS. This center is ideal for couples who wish to shelter together or people who don’t wish to separate from their cars or pets.
John continues to put in the hard work to change his life. This tiny home is transitional but puts him one step closer to permanent housing. One of John's proudest accomplishments is securing health insurance and re-establishing primary care at Waikiki Health earlier this year, thanks to the support and guidance of his IHS ohana.
The tiny home is a gift to IHS and Hale Mauliola from Frank Rogers, an entrepreneur with a seemingly busy retirement ahead of him. Frank believes his made-in-Hawaii modular home kits will have a positive impact on Oahu’s housing crisis.
Frank donated one of his most charming model homes because he saw its power to change people’s lives. When Frank set his sights on retirement, he took a look back at his life and the people and places that inspired him. As a young man, Frank attended St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Kailua and knew IHS founder Rev. Claude DuTeil as an inspirational figure whose humility and humanity left a powerful impression on Frank’s life. Rev. DuTeil was also a close friend of his father.
Getting the community hands-on in the “house raising” is part of Frank’s business model. John played a role in the construction of the dwelling, as did a few other residents at Hale Mauliola. Since constructing this tiny home, Frank has hired some Hale Mauliola residents. Frank aims to continue training and employing those experiencing homelessness so that they develop skills and opportunities that will help them rise out of poverty.
Partnering with local businesses and friends like Frank enables IHS to create new ways to inspire people and makes a huge difference. For those experiencing homelessness, new shelter like this tiny home gives them the strength and courage to step through the doorway to their best future.
Thanks for your continued support as we work together with the community to create solutions that end homelessness.
P.S. - Check out the KITV news story on this new home that has attracted the interest of nearly 100,000 viewers on social media. Click here to watch.