The city’s stalled plan to build modular housing for homeless people across Farrington Highway from Waianae High School remains stuck in the mud but officials are moving forward with another project on Halona Road and are mincing words about its purpose.
Meanwhile, everybody is just looking the other way and pretending the massive illegal encampment beside the Waianae Boat Harbor isn’t there, even though it’s taken root for more than a decade as authorities sit on their thumbs.
The Halona Road project sounds like a winner if they can really make it happen. But they should be straightforward about it. The newspaper reports that officials insist the project “is not an emergency or transitional shelter but will relocate homeless people from parks and other public areas to permanent housing.”
It’s not a transitional shelter, but will move people from homelessness to housing?
The paper also reports that “the units will be permanent, but the tenants will be temporary.”
In other words, it’s transitional, but they’re calling it transitional housing rather than a transitional shelter, even though it’s purpose is to provide transitional shelter to homeless people. That’s the kind of obfuscation that makes neighbors suspicious and gets NIMBYs upset any time a new project is proposed.
Whatever. This is a very small project, just three units geared toward families, but it could be a big help to people who really need assistance.
The city says residents should be able to move in during October, which will be just in time for Mayor Caldwell to take a bow for it as he fights for his political life in the tough runoff election he’s expected to face on November 8.
He probably won’t be taking any bows for the larger project near Waianae High School, which he announced nearly a year ago and still hasn’t managed to get started.