Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Centers was in the national spotlight this morning as ABC’s “Good Morning America” program featured the Wailuku agency as part of the Maui Strong Fund wildfire recovery campaign.
The Emmy-winning morning news program featured a live, on-location telecast Thursday morning from KHAKO’s Wailuku shelter. The program highlighted the heroism of agency employees who helped 220 Lahaina shelter residents evacuate and escape fast-moving flames. The Aug. 8-9 wildfire engulfed Lahaina town and destroyed the 78-unit shelter complex.
“It was an honor to have ‘Good Morning America’ share our story with its national audience, live from our own backyard,” said KHAKO Executive Director Monique R. Ibarra. “Last week, our Lahaina shelter burned down, and this week we received the love and support of our national ohana.”
During the morning TV program, ABC News Correspondent Gio Benitez announced that KHAKO had received $125,000 in donations, plus a percentage of today’s profits from Raising Cane’s fast-food restaurants.
“This generous funding will keep our clients housed, fed and supported with our life-skills training and other health support services,” Ibarra said. “And, now, we can begin looking ahead to rebuilding our Lahaina shelter. Mahalo!”
“Also, mahalo nui loa to ABC News, Good Morning America and the dedicated producers and journalists who showed great care, professionalism and respect for our shelter residents while sharing our story with their national television audience,” Ibarra said.
The Westside Center began operations in 2005. It had 30 two-bedroom apartment units leased to long-term residents. Another 48 units provided emergency shelter for families and individuals transitioning from homelessness to permanent housing. On Aug. 8, more than 25 residents were transported by KHAKO staff in personal and agency vehicles to the Wailuku shelter for emergency housing. Several other families also found shelter at the facility.
“As recovery efforts begin and the search for the missing continues, our thoughts and prayers remain with the fire victims, their families and friends,” Ibarra said.
About Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Centers:
Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Centers is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing comprehensive services and shelter to individuals and families experiencing homelessness on the island of Maui. With a commitment to empowering individuals and fostering self-sufficiency, the agency offers a range of programs and support services to help individuals transition from homelessness to stable housing and a brighter future.