Maui News

Maui County’s first ‘safe sleeping zone’ may be at J. Walter Cameron Center in Wailuku

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A map shows the location of a parking lot at the Cameron Center in Wailuku. This has been identified as a preferred site for a one-year pilot program for houseless individuals to sleep overnight in their vehicles on a county lot. PC: County of Maui / Shane Tegarden photo

A pilot project that allows houseless residents to sleep overnight in their vehicles in county lots could begin as early as October, and the first “safe sleeping zone” may be established at the J. Walter Cameron Center in Wailuku, according to an announcement today. 

Mayor Michael Victorino announced during a press conference today that he signed Bill 108, approved unanimously by the Maui County Council on Aug. 23. The pilot project is allocated to receive up to $200,000 in the fiscal year 2023 budget. 

Maui County’s first “safe sleeping zone” may be at J. Walter Cameron Center in Wailuku, located at 95 Mahalani St., the announcement added. During a recent council meeting, some expressed concerns about which county lots would be used for the program.


J. Walter Cameron Center is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to “incubate, support and accelerate social good in the community.” Established in 1973, the County of Maui granted a 35-year lease extension to the center in 2009. 

“I thank the council members for working with us to select the Cameron Center,” Victorino said in an announcement. “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.” 

César Gaxiola, Cameron Center executive director, said that the nonprofit is looking forward to partnering with the county. 


 “Our founder, J. Walter Cameron, was well-known throughout Maui for his compassion,” he said. “I believe he would be pleased to offer a safe zone for people who need a place to sleep.” 


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