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Ground Broken for New Hilo Adult Day Care Center

Posted March 17, 2017, 09:58 AM HST
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(From left) Jeanne Beers, HIAC president; Maile Young, Health Services director/GHW program director; Paula Uusitalo, HIAC executive director; Betty Nagao, founder, former employee and current participant; and Lori Thal, art therapist. Photo : Betty Nagao

A groundbreaking and blessing ceremony for a new 9,000-square-foot Adult Day Care Center in Hilo took place on March 6, 2017.

This senior project is a joint venture between Hawaii Island Adult Care Inc. and the Hawaii Island Community Development Corporation.

“Our success to this point is in large part due to the significant support we have received from the Hawaii County Office of Housing and Community Development Block Grant program, appropriations from the State Legislature and a large grant from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation Inc.,” said Paula Uusitalo, executive director of Hawaii Island Adult Care. Additional grants from local foundations and corporations have made it possible for construction to begin on the new facility. “We are extremely grateful for their support.”

The HIAC Hilo Adult Day Center is currently operating in the old Hilo Hospital on Rainbow Drive. This present structure, built in 1923, is inadequate to serve the current or future needs for the growing Day Center over the next 60-70 years.

The new building will feature large open spaces for art and craft activities, physical fitness geared to elders and quiet indoor spaces for reading, socializing and relaxing. The project features a fully certified kitchen to provide hot meals, outdoor gardens and a wandering path. Construction of the new home for the program is expected to take 13 months to complete.

However, Hawaii Island Adult Care is asking for added community support to pay for the commercial kitchen equipment that will provide meals for the seniors, furnishings, and the completion of an outdoor walking and resting area for the seniors. This and other related expenses amount to an additional $600,000 needed.

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“This collaborative effort between Hawaii Island Community Development Corporation and Hawaii Island Adult Care, Inc. has been a wonderful opportunity for our two not for profit organizations to ensure that our seniors are well taken care of now and well into the future” remarked Keith Kato, executive director of the Hawaii Island Community Development Corporation. “The adult day center will complement the existing and planned senior housing in the Mohouli complex that will have 182 units at full build out. The first phase with 60 units was completed in 2014, the second phase with 30 units is now under construction and funding for the last increment of 92 units has been secured from the State Housing Finance and Development Corporation. This truly has been a joint venture between many public and private organizations all with the same aim of aiding our kupuna.”

For information on how to donate to the capital campaign contact the Hawaii Island Adult Care Executive Director Paula Uusitalo at (808) 961-3747, ext. 105 or Keith Kato, Executive Director of the Hawaii Island Community Development Corporation at (808) 319-2422 or visit www.hawaiiislandadultcare.org.

About Hawaii Island Adult Care Inc.
HIAC’s mission is to provide quality care for elders and challenged adults, and support for their families on the island of Hawaii. HIAC, with its Hilo and Honomu Adult Day Centers provides adult day care for frail elders, cognitively impaired and challenged adults; thus giving them the opportunity to remain living in their own homes, preventing premature institutionalization and providing independence, dignity and self-worth. An additional focus is providing needed respite and/or the opportunity to continue employment for caregivers and families.

About Hawaii Island Community Development Corporation
The Hawaii Island Community Development Corporation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to assist low and moderate income residents of the Island of Hawaii obtain affordable housing. The two programs being carried out are self help housing and senior rentals, both of which are oriented to low income households. To date the Hawaii Island Community Development Corporation has worked with 284 Big Island self help builders to complete their homes, including projects in Kohala, Kailua-Kona, Pepe‘ekeo, Keaukaha, Panaewa, Kea‘au and Mountain View. Senior rental projects have been completed in Hilo, Waimea, Kapa‘au and Kailua-Kona totaling 248 units. All together the Hawaii Island Community Development Corporation has developed 532 affordable housing units on Hawai‘i Island.

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