Mayor Derek Kawakami, fifth from left, is seen here during the blessing of the Mana Olana Emergency and Transitional Shelter Improvements project. Photo courtesy of County of Kaua‘i

Kaua‘i County officials held a blessing last week for the completion of the Mana Olana Emergency and Transitional Shelter Improvements project at Kaua‘i Economic Opportunity in Līhu‘e, according to a county news release.

“We are grateful to our state, county, and federal partners, all stakeholders involved, and the entire KEO team for working collectively in our shared vision of serving our community in need,” Mayor Derek Kawakami said during the blessing July 22. “These improvements provide the foundation for KEO’s future expansion of their emergency and transitional homeless shelter, allowing them to increase available shelter beds and transitional housing units which is much needed on Kaua‘i.”

This project eliminated six independent, aging and problematic septic systems, reducing future maintenance costs and protecting groundwater integrity. It connects the KEO facility to the municipal wastewater system for the recently upgraded area during the construction of the neighboring Kealaula Supportive Housing Project and the Pua Loke Street Workforce Housing Project, now renamed “Haupu View.”

This County initiative was funded by the Community Development Block Grant Program. The project’s scope included a $690,000 wastewater system upgrade and a $50,000 project to improve the transitional housing units and ADA upgrades to the administrative offices at KEO. Construction started in February 2022 and ended in July.


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