awaii has the highest homeless population per capita in the US. The state of homelessness on Maui is completely out of control.

There are thousands of homeless people scattered on the beach, in parks and parking lots with no incentive to change.

Making matters worse, many mainland communities send their homeless to Hawaii to get rid of the financial drain on their budgets.


The culture of Maui is unique and distinct. We first talked to the people to find out what the needs of the homeless really are here.

We wanted to honor the culture and take time to understand what was the best solution and the best fit.

The current homeless shelter is poorly used because the climate in Maui makes it easy to live on the streets. Social services are scattered around the island and those homeless won’t leave there encampments to seek help.


The number one thing we heard was a desire for a hot shower and place to do laundry. Working with local resources, We found a unique way to provide a safe place for the homeless of Maui.

Instead of a building, we devised a Mobile Services Unit that could be taken anywhere. This trailer has a private shower and toilet area, two washers and dryers, free WiFi and place to recharge their phones.

It can go anywhere and join with other services like food distribution to make a bigger impact. For instance, we discovered many homeless have lost their glasses so added a program to do eye exams and give glasses free.


The Mobile Services Unit is much more than a place for a shower and laundry. Waiting for their laundry to get done gives an extended period of time to be relational with the homeless.

There’s time to find out, “Who are you? Where have you been? And how can we help you get to where you want to be?” Outreach teams work to build trust and provide a base level of services and sundries that give reason to begin a conversation and forge a relationship.

The goal is consistent outreach to engage those who are broken and lost to build trust, to heal, and to build a path to a new life in Christ.


Some portion of Maui’s homeless are quite content in their circumstances and need to grasp that a new and better life is possible. The Mobile Services Unit gives the opportunity to sit with people for an extended period of time to understand their story.

We always stress you must listen to people to be able to help. This unusual solution happened because we helped by asking the hard questions and listened to what the homeless really wanted.

By making the facilities fit the services (and not the other way around) you end up with the most efficient and functional ministry possible.

Now the Maui Rescue Mission has a practical way to show the love of Jesus Christ. He alone can give hope in a situation that seems hopeless.