Safe Zone Pilot Project


MAYOR MICHAEL VICTORINO SIGNS BILL ENABLING HOMELESS PEOPLE TO SLEEP OVERNIGHT IN VEHICLES IN COUNTY PARKING LOTS – CAMERON CENTER LOT SELECTED AS THE SITE PILOT PROGRAM

Mayor Michael Victorino announced during a press conference today that he has signed Bill 108, approved unanimously by the Maui County Council on Tuesday, August 23, 2022. The new law enables a 9-month pilot program for homeless individuals to sleep overnight in their vehicles on a County lot. The Maui County Council and the Mayor’s Office worked together to identify the J. Walter Cameron Center in Wailuku as the County’s preferred site.

“I thank the Councilmembers for working with us to select the Cameron Center,” said Mayor Victorino. “It is centrally located, so support services are easily accessible and its location near Maui Memorial Medical Center and the Maui Police Station are important considerations for the health and safety of those who will sleep overnight in their vehicles.”

The J. Walter Cameron Center, located at 95 Mahalani Street in Wailuku, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a mission to “incubate, support and accelerate social good in the community.” Established in 1973, the County of Maui granted a 55-year lease extension to the Center in 2009.

“On behalf of the board and staff of the Cameron Center, we are looking forward to this partnership with the County,” said Executive Director César Gaxiola. “Our founder, J. Walter Cameron, was well-known throughout Maui for his compassion. I believe he would be pleased to offer a safe zone for people who need a place to sleep.”

According to Mayor Victorino, the pilot program could begin as soon October following finalization of contract details. With the bill’s passage, the pilot project is allocated to receive up to $200,000 in the FY 2023 budget.

Credit: County of Maui