Touring Next Step: My Visit to a Homeless Shelter

Chad Blair/Civil Beat

There's no cheaper daily rate in all of Hawaii: $2 a night for a bed in oceanfront property.

There's running water, soda machines, a library, a playroom for the kids; a microwave, toaster and coffee machine; a basketball hoop and a smoking section out back.

Free toiletries, too, and a fridge to store medications. There's even a secure area to store precious belongings.

But here's the rub: The roof leaks, birds fly freely about, you can't drink or do illegal drugs, and curfew is at 10 p.m. Make a violent scene and you'll be kicked out.

And one other thing — your sleeping space is a 4-foot-by-6-foot cubicle, and you are sharing a warehouse with 200 other people.

Welcome to the Next Step Project homeless shelter in Kakaako.

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