Connect Point Church gets $10K donation for micro-units for eruption evacuees

  • HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald Temporal housing units built by Connect Point Church in Hawaiian Paradise Park are near completion for victims of the recent lava flow.

  • HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald A sign that reads "Home sweet home" is at the doorstep of one of the micro housing units built by Connect Point Church in Hawaiian Paradise Park for evacuees of the Kilauea eruption in lower Puna.
  • HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald From left, Ellsworth Fontes and Jerry Chang of Rock & Roll Motorcycle Club, Pastor Dion Maeda of Connect Point Church and Jackie Foster and Lenny Francis of Street Bikers United Hawaii Maui Chapter pose for a group photo after Street Bikers United Hawaii presented a check for $10,000 to Connect Point Church on Wednesday at the micro housing units built by the church in Hawaiian Paradise Park.
  • HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald

    Jackie Foster of Street Bikers United Hawaii Maui Chapter hands a check for $10,000 to Senior Pastor Dion Maeda of Connect Point Church standing next to Jerry Chang of Rock & Roll Motorcycle Club and the University of Hawaii at Hilo on Wednesday at the temporary housing units built by Connect Point Church in Hawaiian Paradise Park.

As work continued Wednesday on additional transitional housing in Hawaiian Paradise Park, Connect Point Church received a $10,000 donation for the project.

Earlier this month, volunteers began constructing 11 micro-units on property owned by the church that will be used for people displaced by the Kilauea eruption in lower Puna.

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The donation came from Street Bikers United Hawaii and Minit Stop, and will cover the cost of two micro-units.

Representatives from the Maui Chapter of Street Bikers United, along with members of Rock & Roll Motorcycle Club, were on hand Wednesday to present the check to Connect Point Senior Pastor Dion Maeda.

Chapter Secretary Jackie Foster said it was “wonderful to see what is actually happening here and all the good work that they’re doing out here.”

Event coordinator Lenny Francis said he felt humbled and grateful that they were able to help, and for “all the great people of Maui understanding the plight of what people on the Big Island are going through right now.”

“We are one” is the mantra they’ve been carrying, he said.

“It’s not a Big Island problem, it’s a human problem,” Foster said. “So anyone that can help should. We’re just happy to be close enough and know enough people and connections and come out here and do that. It’s people helping people.”

Work was continuing on the units in the background Wednesday afternoon and has “been moving pretty quick,” Maeda said.

There will be 11 units total, one of which will be for on-site security, Maeda said.

Residents are tentatively scheduled to move in Aug. 14.

The units are 120 square feet and are the same design as the 20 micro-units built for evacuees at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Pahoa. They are a modified version of a shed provided through HPM Building Supply, one of the partners of the projects.

According to Maeda, the church is trying to reach out to families with children and those who are most vulnerable, but is working with the county and Hope Services to find “who would be the best fit” to reside in the new development.

Maeda said the church has to raise about $150,000 to complete the project. It’s raised about $135,000 so far.

“If you were to count the in-kind donations, this would have been a $300,000, $400,000 project,” he said.

Close to 50 different organizations have donated to bring the project to fruition, he said.

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“Everybody has just come to the table to help out, which has been beautiful,” said Maeda.

Email Stephanie Salmons at ssalmons@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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