The Purpose of Emergency & Specialty Shelters

The Purpose of Emergency & Specialty Shelters

The entry-level, or “lowest barrier” shelter is an emergency shelter. Low barrier refers to the minimal restrictions on who can be served by a program. Shelter facilities are meant to support those who are in immediate need or in crisis. At all of our shelters, we provide three meals a day, on-site laundry facilities, mail service, case management, and housing navigation. Housing navigators work with guests to find transitional or permanent housing solutions customized to their needs.

Emergency shelters are for more than just emergencies 

The term “emergency” in this instance describes the temporary nature of guests seeking shelter, with stays ranging from a few nights to three months. 

Kaaahi Women’s & Family Shelter –  is three shelters in one! Kaaahi serves kupuna wahine (elderly women), single women, and families. The first floor of the shelter includes a clinic, children’s program classroom, and learning center (computer lab). Additionally, the roof of Kaaahi is home to the Taking Root Urban Agriculture program. 

Sumner Men’s Shelter – was the first homeless shelter on Oahu! Its doors opened over three decades ago, in 1986. Over the past 36 years, this facility has sheltered thousands of Oahu’s most vulnerable homeless guests. Sumner Men’s Shelter has two dorm-style living spaces and a dorm specifically for those in our veteran program. The recently renovated Sumner Health Center is on the first floor and has patient treatment rooms and a pharmacy. 

Hale Mauliola Navigation Center allows guests to stay as couples and with their pet.

Specialized shelters 

These sites provide care for specialized needs assessed during intake, in the coordinated entry system.*
Specialty shelter housing is available through referral based on guest’s needs:

Tutu Bert Medical Respite Homes – this program started in 2016 with a small home in Makiki, and now boasts five locations! They all receive guests from local hospitals including the Queen’s Health Systems, Adventist Health Castle, Kaiser Permanente Hawaii, Hawaii Pacific Health, and others. These homes allow medically frail individuals a safe, stable place with assistance to recover from treatment and work toward finding permanent housing.

Kalihi-Uka Recovery Homes (KURH) – is a substance abuse recovery house. We have a partnership with the Queen’s Healthcare System’s Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment program, where those enrolled in the program who are homeless can stay here during their treatment. Guests work with intensive case managers, helping them become better equipped to be self-sufficient once their program is complete.

Veterans Engaged in Transition (VET) House – is dedicated to caring for those who served our country in the armed forces. Guests are assigned case managers who help them navigate VA benefits including healthcare, housing, and other programs and services designed for veterans.

Hale Mauliola (HMO) – is a housing navigation shelter, consisting of one and two-person units made from refurbished shipping containers. It has space for guests to park their cars, have pets, and live with their significant others. Like all of our shelters, HMO has dedicated case managers, employment services, and housing specialists. Guests at HMO are typically working and have their documentation such as ID and Social Security cards, which make the transition to permanent housing quicker and more efficient.

Virtual Tours of our shelters are available on our YouTube Channel. Tours include overview of program and how the spaces are intended to build community and help guests work toward independence.

*Coordinated Entry System (CES) is used by human services organizations (as part of Oahu’s Continuum of Care: Partners in Care) and helps to connect individuals with programs that have the capacity to address specific needs. 

1 Comment
  • Karen Tokumoto
    Posted at 05:24h, 26 June Reply

    I am observing someone who needs help, evicted but do not know the definite details. May be because of not being able to make rent payments. So, on the street surrounded by suitcases and other belongings.
    Is there a case worker who could help her? Do not think she has a car either, omg. I do not really know her but she was in my building. I am just an observer and I was not her friend.Do not know anything about her. Being a Christian, just reaching out to see if someone could help her.
    Thank you.

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