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In the Media
Big Island Families, Individuals Sleeping in Cars, Benches, Bushes Tell Their Stories
January 29, 2023

Fellows mentioned in this story: Brandee Menino

From Big Island Now:

In the corner of a nearly empty Kona parking lot on a nippy Thursday night, an 18-month-old boy is running barefoot in circles, laughing, as Brandee Menino, executive director of Hope Services, playfully chases him.

The toddler, wearing diapers and a long-sleeve shirt, ran to his mother and then his large yellow dog Duke, who showered him with licks on his face as he giggled uncontrollably.

Nearby was his father, standing next to a dark-colored hatchback, crammed with clothes and other belongings. The car is their home.

“What’s your name?” Lahi Kanakanui, an adult mental health housing navigator for Hope Services Hawaiʻi outreach, asked the father. “How long have you been living out of your car?”

The three family members are among the people without homes on the west side of the Big Island who were being counted Thursday night as part of the federally mandated annual Homeless Point in Time Count.

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