Decommissioned buses will serve as homeless shelters

Mizue said the retrofitted buses will have “an upscale look.

There’s a new solution offered in solving the problem of Oahu’s homeless — it’s called LIFT, where decommissioned buses serve as homeless shelters. The city donated the buses and the design is under way.

The LIFT buses will serve as safe living, showering, and learning facilities for a community of people who normally don’t have free or easy access to such necessities. The Executive Director for the Mayor’s Office of Housing, Jun Yang, proposed the challenge last year to Group 70 International’s newest Principal and Design Director Ma Ry Kim and Reid Mizue of Omizu Architecture Inc.

They accepted the project and are working in collaboration with the city and county. Kim said Group 70 Associate Ryan Sullivan and Designer Charles Siu have also been instrumental in bringing this idea to life.

“Homelessness is a social issue that requires multiple solutions and LIFT offers a viable option that uses what we already have,” Kim said. “Our next step is finding a non-profit to take on project implementation. We encourage all local non-profits interested in remedying homelessness on Oahu to consider championing LIFT.”

Mizue said the retrofitted buses will have “an upscale look. They won’t feel ashamed to be utilizing it for their own benefit.”

The architects hope to roll out three retrofitted buses this summer. They said the city has set aside about 70 buses to become temporary shelters.

For non-profits interested in supporting solutions to remedy Oahu’s homeless issues, contact Jun Yang, Executive Director for the Mayor’s Office of Housing, at jyang@honolulu.gov or (808) 768-4303.

Copyright 2015 KHON

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