By Alika Campbell
As anyone who has visited the YO! Drop-In center in Waikiki knows, the building has faced a lot of wear and tear over the years. Originally built in 1940, the small cottage has been through a lot; from WW2 and countless winter storms, to being one of the few lots in Waikiki that hasn’t been redeveloped. After surviving all of this, the YO! house now faces one of its biggest challenges; 30 to 40 teenagers coming to eat, shower, do laundry, and hang out four afternoons a week.
While some things improve with age; wine, violins, my appreciation for modern art for example, the same can’t be said for electrical fixtures, plumbing, and appliances. The day to day strain on the infrastructure at YO! is definitely showing and it’s not too much of an exaggeration to say that parts of the house are held together with termite spit and duct tape.
This is where HomeAid Hawaii comes in. HomeAid Hawaii is a new non-profit that brings together builders, developers, and tradespeople to make a difference in Hawaii’s homelessness problem. The YO! Drop-In center has been fortunate enough to be selected to be one of the first projects that the new organization takes on. They will be assisting with projects including replacing our too small kitchen sink, installing new appliances, and upgrading the living room fans (which are just floor fans mounted to the walls).
While the YO! staff do the day-to-day work with the clients, it is only through the support of caring community members that we are able to keep going. A big mahalo goes out to the folks at HomeAid and Waikiki Health (our partners at YO!) who have made this YO! facelift possible!
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