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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, January 30, 2010

Homeless aid group searching for own new home

By Mary Vorsino
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Volunteers with the Affordable Housing and Homeless Alliance yesterday prepared to leave the Hale'iwa church sanctuary where they set up temporary offices.

RICHARD AMBO | The Honolulu Advertiser

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The Affordable Housing and Homeless Alliance is looking for a new home on the North Shore. However, the group can't afford to pay rent. The nonprofit is looking for suggestions and help.

To contact the alliance, call 845-4565.

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A nonprofit that helps homeless on the North Shore move off the streets is searching for a new home itself.

The Affordable Housing and Homeless Alliance has been operating out of the sanctuary of the House of Restoration Church in Hale'iwa since July 2008, and now sees more than 186 client visits a month. Homeless people come to the church for case management and to get everything from meals to toiletries to information on other services.

Now, the nonprofit is moving because the church can't afford to stay open five days a week.

The agency has to be out of the church by today.

Doran Porter, executive director of the alliance, said the nonprofit has not been paying rent for the sanctuary space, but performed maintenance, paid for Internet access and helped in other ways. He said that the alliance likely won't be able to pay for rent for an alternative site.

"We have been looking desperately for another location," he said.

He added, "We need it to be free, but we're looking to try to get funding."

The alliance operates three drop-in centers, in Hale'iwa, Wahiawā and Kailua.

Porter said the "one-stop resource centers" are vital to helping scores of unsheltered homeless people transition into long-term housing. Many of the homeless people the alliance helps are single, and living at beach parks or on the streets.

The alliance has five full-time employees on the North Shore.

Porter said the nonprofit is looking at a host of options to continue operating on the North Shore, including moving its offices in Kailua to save money.

The alliance pays about $24,000 a year to rent space in Kailua.

Its space in Wahiawā, where it also operates out of a church, is free.

"We're open to whatever would work," Porter said.

If the nonprofit can't find a new space on the North Shore, Porter said workers will see clients at beach parks.