Time running out for homeless bus shelter

Published On: Jul 19 2013 09:13:49 PM HST

Less than 24 hours after a major homeless sweep in Kaka'ako, details are emerging about a nearby homeless shelter that will be shutting down.

The group that took the risk on high-risk clients needs to find a new place, and time is running out.

It's known as the H-5-- Evan's Angels-- bus project.

But there's a big problem.

 "We are looking for a place to park our buses," said Utu Langi.

There are six of them.   Donated by Roberts Hawaii and converted into shelters. There's even a place for pets.

The operation has been able to keep up to 40 people at a time off the streets. It has been a kind of "last chance" shelter.

 “The majority of the folks who lived in our buses were unable to get into any other shelters at all,” said Langi.

The state doesn't control the lot anymore.

  "When we first came here, we were told we were only going to be six months and so fortunately we have been here for three years now, so that’s a long time," Langi said.

 And Langi knew his clock was ticking when the Office of Hawaiian Affairs took control last year.

 But moving the buses isn't the problem.

 "They all run. Slap a battery in there. Start it up. They all run," Langi said,

 H-5's woes are with finances.

 "We don't have any money at all. So as far as insurance, we had had to cut that off. We cannot afford it. We have no insurance right now," Langi said.

 Langi says when he lost the contract to operate the Next Step Shelter to Waikiki Health Center two years ago, he had to scale down his outreach.

And then came tax troubles.

Langi said the IRS told him he'd had been filing the wrong papers--something he says is working to rectify.

"We do have what I believe is a good model here with what we have been working  here for years now, so if someone could help…”
Langi says his clients have had lots of notice.

A month ago he had 25now it’s down to 15--mostly men , but there is a family with 3 young children.

 "We do have what I believe is a good model here ...so if someone could help"

 What Langi needs is an angel.

 "Hope is always there," Langi said.




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