What Can Happen When the People Put Their Heads and Hearts Together

Gregg K. Kakesako
Special to The Hawai‘i Herald

“We built it!”

It took Hawai‘i businessman Duane Kurisu just six months and one day to develop Kahauiki Village — a public-private housing project that is fulfilling his dream “to build a community,” not just a shelter for O‘ahu’s homeless.

Last summer, there was nothing on the 11.3-acre parcel makai (oceanside) of Nimitz Highway, just east of the Honolulu airport. No roads, no sewers, no electricity, no water — just weeds, shrubbery, a homeless encampment and a paintball field near Ke‘ehi Lagoon.

Today, a black asphalt road surrounds the $12.4 million Phase One compound consisting of 30 prefab housing units — 18 two-bedroom homes and 12 one-bedroom homes — plus, a community center and a police workstation.

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