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Shelter builds playground for youths

Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Centers Inc., a shelter for homeless individuals on Maui, recently held a blessing ceremony to celebrate the completion of a community playground at its Central Maui facility. The playground was made possible by grants and donations from Kaiser Permanente Hawaii, Realtors Association of Maui, Hawaii Petroleum Ohana Fuels, 100 Kids Who Care, and the Rotary Club of Wailuku, as well as volunteer and in-kind services from Cable One.

The community playground will provide approximately 75 homeless keiki a day with a gathering place to help them build resiliency by allowing them to heal physically and emotionally from the strain of being homeless.

Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Centers have been serving the homeless community in Maui County for the past 30 years. Ka Hale A Ke Ola’s Wailuku and Lahaina locations provide safe and secure emergency shelter with nutritional meals served on-site and transitional housing programs that assist as many as 1,500 individuals on Maui each year.

“KHAKO addresses the complex issues associated with homelessness by promoting self-sufficiency and positive lifestyle changes,” said Monique Yamashita, executive director of KHAKO. “Our new playground gives keiki and their families a sense of community as we work with them to find permanent housing or provide other essential services and resources.”

“KHAKO’s mission aligns with our own commitment to improve the health and wellness of the communities we serve,” said Dave Underriner, president of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals, Hawaii Region. “We’re proud to support its cause and give keiki a safe place to play and start the lifelong habit of being active.”