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Pāhoa Emergency Evacuation Shelter Will Close Sept. 17

August 29, 2018, 12:33 PM HST
* Updated August 29, 1:42 PM
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Big Island Now reported that the Pāhoa Emergency Evacuation Shelter would be closing soon in an article posted on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018.

Pāhoa Emergency Evacuation Shelter, which is actually the gym at the new Pāhoa Community Park.

The County of Hawai‘i released the following statement regarding the closure:

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation announces the Pāhoa Emergency Evacuation Shelter will cease operations at 12 p.m., Sept. 17, 2018.

Since May 3, 2018, the Pāhoa shelter has been in operation and at one point housed over 550 evacuees who were displaced due to the 2018 Puna lava event. “We have about 45 evacuees left in the shelter and we’re working with the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Hope Services, the Office of Housing and Development, the Office of Aging, and FEMA to assist the remaining shelter residents with housing transition plans. I’m hopeful that those remaining in the shelter will take the utmost advantage of the services being offered in resolving their housing issues” said Roxcie Waltjen, Director of Parks and Recreation.

“This has been the longest running emergency shelter in the history of Hawai‘i, and we will have been in operation for 138 days on Sept. 17, 2018. I want to thank all of the shelter workers and the support provided from healthcare and mental health professionals who worked behind the scenes in providing a safe, caring and healthy environment for the evacuees.”

It would be impossible to list all the individuals, and community and service groups that provided services and goods that contributed to the successful operations of the shelter. All of them were so instrumental in ensuring a healthy shelter operation. We are so grateful and thankful to all who helped. We wish there was a way to say “thank you.”

For more information, call Parks and Recreation at (808) 961-8311.

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