Governor Josh Green, MD | Governor’s Office – Press Release – Blessing at Pūlama Ola Medical Respite Kauhale

Governor’s Office – Press Release – Blessing at Pūlama Ola Medical Respite Kauhale

Posted May 26, 2023 in Latest Department News, Newsroom, Office of the Governor News Releases

HONOLULU, HI – Governor Josh Green, MD, today hosted a blessing for the first kauhale site built under his administration. The kauhale medical relay, called Pūlama Ola, is located in the backyard of the Governor’s residence on the grounds of the Health Department parking lot. This community housing project will serve inpatients and emergency room patients discharged from urban Honolulu hospitals who would otherwise abandon medical care and become homeless.

Governor Green opened the ceremony and provided details of the project being built by the non-profit organization HomeAid Hawaiʻi (HAH), which will be operated by Project Vision Hawaiʻi (PVH).

“By embracing the idea of ​​’yes in my backyard,’ we have the power to create a more compassionate community that nurtures change from within. Our partners who have brought this kauhale to life have shown us that excellence and care can be emulated and that by working together we can make lasting change,” Governor Green said. “Just as aloha comes from within and is shared with the outside, we too can embody the spirit of aloha and inspire others to do the same.”

Intended for patients discharged from the hospital who do not require skilled nursing but need a safe and stable place to continue their recovery, Kauhale Medical Respite will include 24-hour staffing for admission, supervision and care coordination. Registered nurses will also be on staff to make daily rounds for basic care needs.

“A project of this nature highlights the dedication of this Administration to serving our homeless neighbors and finding solutions to the realities facing homelessness in our community,” said James Koshiba, Governor’s Coordinator on Homelessness. “An immediate response to the need for medical respite highlights the bold and swift action needed to address the issues immediately as we create long-term, permanent solutions toward deeply affordable housing for our homeless neighbors across the state.”

Unlike the state’s plan for permanent Kauhale villages, which may include tiny houses, multi-family dwellings, apartment buildings, or other feasible forms, all managed with a collaborative, community-based approach, the Kauhale medical respite is temporary.

The state is simultaneously working with private and community partners to make additional medical respite space available within existing community facilities. As these spaces become available, the need for the Kauhale Medical Respite service will decrease and the units will be relocated to other areas, with the intent of being used on a Kauhale site long-term.

“Our value engineering reduced the cost of a project from nearly half a million to $300,000, which was then incurred as a contribution from private donors,” says HomeAid Hawaiʻi Executive Director Kimo Carvalho. “Pūlama Ola is a testament to how improved policies and access to resources make it possible to mobilize our partners to develop this site in record time.” Carvalho added, “HomeAid Hawaii and its partners are honored to gift this kauhale to the state of Hawaii.”

HomeAid Hawaiʻi is a convener for developers, funders, providers, and the homeless to co-design and build reduced-cost housing solutions for the homeless. The actual cost of Pūlama Ola is estimated at $471,500. Through HomeAid Hawaiʻi, 100 percent of costs were donated through volunteer labor, in-kind materials and supplies, and financial contributions from Queen’s Health System, First Hawaiian Bank Foundation, HMSA, and Home Depot. Actual construction and development costs include planning and design, site preparation, infrastructure connectivity, furnishings, fencing, and security precautions. The project is estimated to save taxpayers an estimated $800,000 per year on proper discharge planning for medically fragile homeless individuals who do not use hospitals for abatement care.

“What a great day this is! Under Governor Green’s leadership, it took many people and organizations to get here today, all with the goal of providing a place for the homeless community,” Queen’s Health System President and CEO Jill Hoggard Green said. Ph.D., R.N. it will help our homeless population by providing them with resources and respite to be in a safe place and not on the streets.”

“We applaud the Green Administration’s effort to bring together public and private partners to address this issue of healthcare access for some of our most vulnerable residents,” added First Hawaiian Bank President and CEO Bob Harrison. “Pūlama Ola is an important initiative that will play a crucial role in improving Hawaiian communities, and the bank is honored to be a partner in this initiative.”

“Homelessness in a person with a chronic illness is both a social and health problem. This kauhale program is a clever and innovative way to address both. HMSA is proud to support this community effort, which aligns with our mission of creating a healthier Hawaii,” said HMSA President and CEO Mark M. Mugiishi, MD, FACS.

State employees from the Capitol District also came together to support the initiative in their backyard earlier this week, collaboratively assembling furniture and putting the finishing touches on the units.

Kahu Kordell Kekoa conducted a traditional Hawaiian blessing of each room within the 10-unit village, which also includes a publicly accessible nursing station and hygiene trailer.

Pūlama Ola speaks of the embrace of life, of health, of a person’s potential, and of the embrace of the kauhale of those who seek that health and that life. Hey Hello!

Media ̶ credit to the Governor’s Office:




Media Contacts:

erika engle

press secretary

Office of the Governor, State of Hawaii

Cell: (808) 798-6081

Email: [email protected]

Mia Noguchi

Deputy Director of Communications

Office of the Governor, State of Hawaii

Cell: (808) 798-3929

Email: [email protected]