The project is called the Evans Bus Project, part of the Next Step shelter in Kakaako. Evans is short for Evening Angels, which refers to giving homeless a safe place to store their belongings and sleep at night.

In January two buses were donated by Roberts Hawaii and parked in a corner near the shelter, a converted warehouse. Today there are six buses and each is in use.

“Next Step can only hold 200 people and there’s always a waiting list,” said Samiana Langi, project and programs coordinator for the Hawaii Helping the Hungry Have Hope, a group that manages the Next Step emergency shelter for the state. “We now have two buses for single males, one for single women, and three for women with kids.”

Langi said the shelter, which offers meals, laundry and showers, has seen a dramatic rise over the past few months in the number of women and children seeking shelter. How can people help?

“Gosh, we really need a lot of diapers,” said Langi, who said donors can drop the diapers off after the shelter, located off Forest Avenue and Ala Moana Boulevard, opens evenings at 5:30. “We are constantly in need. It’s overwhelming.”

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