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Harry Kim <br />Mayor <br />Wit Okabe <br />Managing Director <br />c Gountp of Ti9alimet <br />DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND RECREATION <br />101 Pauahi Street, Suite 6 • Hilo, Hawaii 96720 <br />(808) 961-8311 • Fax (808) 961-8411 <br />Email: <br /> <br />NEWS RELEASE <br />August 29, 2018 <br />Pahoa Emergency Evacuation Shelter Closure <br />Roxcie L. Wattjen <br />Director <br />Maurice C. Messina <br />Deputy Director <br />The Hawaii County Department of Parks and Recreation announces the Pahoa <br />Emergency Evacuation Shelter will cease operations at 12:OOpm, September 17, 2018. <br />Since May 3, 2018, the Pahoa shelter has been in operation and at one point housed <br />over 550 evacuees who were displaced due to the 2018 Puna lava event. "We have <br />about 45 evacuees left in the shelter and we're working with the American Red Cross, <br />Salvation Army, Hope Services, the Office of Housing and Development, the Office of <br />Aging, and FEMA to assist the remaining shelter residents with housing transition plans. <br />I'm hopeful that those remaining in the shelter will take the utmost advantage of the <br />services being offered in resolving their housing issues" said Roxcie Waltjen, Director of <br />Parks and Recreation. <br />"This has been the longest running emergency shelter in the history of Hawaii, and we <br />will have been in operation for 138 days on September 17, 2018. I want to thank all of <br />the shelter workers and the support provided from healthcare and mental health <br />professionals who worked behind the scenes in providing a safe, caring and healthy <br />environment for the evacuees." <br />It would be impossible to list all the individuals, and community and service groups that <br />provided services and goods that contributed to the successful operations of the shelter. <br />All of them were so instrumental in ensuring a healthy shelter operation. We are so <br />grateful and thankful to all who helped. We wish there was a way to say "thank you". <br />For more information, please call Parks and Recreation at 961-8311. <br />County of Hawaii is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer. <br />