JOSH GREEN, M.D.
FIRST MEDICAL RESPITE KAUHALE PREPARES TO OPEN
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 26, 2023
HONOLULU, HI ̶ A blessing for the Administration’s first medical respite kauhale was conducted May 26. Named Pūlama Ola – it speaks to a person’s embrace of life, of health, of potential – and the kauhale’s embrace of those who seek that health and life. The kauhale is housed in the backyard of the Governor’s residence in the Department of Health parking lot. This community housing project will serve inpatient and emergency room patients discharged from urban Honolulu hospitals who would otherwise exit medical care into homelessness.
“By embracing the idea of ‘yes in my backyard,’ we have the power to create a more compassionate community that nurtures change from within. Our partners who have made this kauhale a reality have shown us that excellence and care can be emulated and that by working together, we can achieve long-lasting change,” Governor Green shared with those attending the blessing. “Just as aloha comes from within and is shared outwardly, we too can embody the spirit of aloha and inspire others to do the same.”
The medical respite kauhale, intended for hospital-discharged patients who do not require skilled nursing, but need a safe and stable place to continue to recover, will include round-the-clock staffing for intake, supervision, and care coordination. Registered nurses will also be on staff to make daily rounds for basic care needs. Construction was provided by the nonprofit HomeAid Hawaiʻi and the Kauhale will be operated by Project Vision Hawaiʻi.
Unlike the state’s plan for permanent kauhale villages, which may include tiny homes, multi-family dwellings, apartment buildings, or other feasible forms – all run with a collaborative community-based focus; the medical respite kauhale is temporary.
“A project of this nature highlights this Administration’s dedication to serving our unsheltered neighbors and finding solutions to the realities facing the unsheltered folks in our community,” said James Koshiba, the Governor’s Coordinator on Homelessness. “An immediate response to the need for medical respite highlights the bold, quick action necessary to tackle the issues immediately as we work to create long-term, permanent solutions for affordable housing and help our unhoused neighbors statewide.”
The state is simultaneously working with private and community-based partners to make available additional medical respite space within existing community facilities. As these spaces become available, the need for the medical respite kauhale will decline and units will be relocated to other areas, with the intention of being used at a long-term kauhale site.
About 70 people attended the blessing including Mayor Rick Blangiardi, Senate President Ron Kouchi, about a dozen members of the Hawaiʻi State Legislature, donors, business and community leaders, partners, and various supporters.
Dozens of volunteers participated in the May 24 Community Day to help get the kauhale ready for the blessing, so that move-in day can occur as soon as operations are ready to accept tenants.
Office of the Governor, State of Hawai‘i
Office: (808) 586-0120
Email: [email protected]
Director of Communications
Office of the Governor, State of Hawaiʻi
Cell: (808) 265-0083
Email: [email protected]