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LIHI Celebrates Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Honoring AANHPI Heroes

LIHI is pleased to join in celebrating Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. We are proud of our history of working to promote racial justice in our community. The many Asian American heroes whose names grace our buildings are part of this legacy. We wish to introduce to you Herman Kahaloa, a member of the LIHI Board of Directors.

Herman Kahaloa is Native Hawaiian, born in Honolulu and raised in Nanakuli Waianae. He moved to Seattle in 2013 and has served on the LIHI Board since 2016. He and wife Leslie Moreno and puppy Keoni live at Cheryl Chow Court in Ballard.

Herman came to be part of the LIHI family when he first lived in Nickelsville’s tent city on S. Jackson St. next door to Ernestine Anderson Place (on vacant land before we built Abbey Lincoln Court). How did we end up hosting a tent city? The LIHI Board voted to allow Nickelsville to set up a sanctioned tent encampment by EAP as the Seattle City Council had threatened the Nickelodeons with arrest if they did not move off of city-owned property in south Seattle. The Board did not want to see homeless people arrested.

Herman then moved with Nickelsville to the Chinatown International District on S. Dearborn St. LIHI set up this lease on the land with a private owner. It was here that I worked closely with Herman to help homeless families with children find shelter and housing. Herman was helpful, compassionate and cared deeply about helping the families who arrived in the middle of the night with nowhere to go to. Herman would welcome the families and call me. I would then call Mary’s Place or the YWCA Late Night Program about shelter vacancies. We would then taxi or Uber them over.

From living in a tent, Herman moved into LIHI’s Yellow House by Othello Park (where George Fleming Place is now located). From there, he moved into transitional housing at Martin Court in Georgetown. Herman secured work with a private company, and moved into Cheryl Chow Court in 2017. He also found work at the Ballard URS.

“I enjoy being on the Board of Directors especially with what we do there helping other people. Cheryl Chow Court is a really nice community, I cannot ask for more. I hope to go back to work in the community,” said Herman.

Herman’s background includes serving in the National Guard. He first experienced homelessness in Seattle. His past professional work included being employed as a Fire Suppression Technician for kitchen hoods and industrial uses. He comes from a large family with roots in ancient Hawaii. His family’s bloodline extends 400 years before King Kamehameha ruled his kingdom, the Hawaiian Islands.

Cheers, Sharon Lee

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