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Kealani Keliinoi is throwing a Thanksgiving party, tonight at five. Anybody who's homeless or feeling the pinch in Encinitas is invited.

It's kind of surprising to find the number of people who are facing hard times in this town. Encinitas's population is about 60,000. Most in this city, are prosperous. In 2005 the median household income was nearly $90,000 a year.

And yet there could be around 40 homeless people living in Encinitas's streets and on the beaches.

But Kealani isn't interested in figures. She's about action.


Kealani, with friend outside her Encinitas restaurant

This evening she’s closing down her Hawaiian restaurant (Kealani’s, 137 West D Street, Encinitas, 760-94-ALOHA) to invite up to 80 homeless people in for a real slap-up meal. Probably 80 volunteers will be there to serve the guests.

“We’ve got turkey, ham, mash, stuffing, gravy, cranberry, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie. And sleeping bags for people who need them for the winter,” she says. "And we've got massages, and maybe even a bit of hula."


Hawaiian drinks will be on hand

Really this no B.S. lady from Hawaii seems to do more than just about ten of any of the rest of us. She gives out free meals every Wednesday behind her restaurant. In fact she says she’ll feed you anytime if you’re hungry.


Regular customers eat teriyaki chicken at tables more needy guests will occupy tonight

“Where I come from is the forgotten, poor side of the island of Oahu, in Hawaii,” she says. “But over there, everybody helps everybody. Aloha is alive. I want to bring it here.”


Kealani's daughter Kelia, her longtime cashier Adrian, and herself: It'll be an 80-strong volunteer team effort to make tonight happen. But she's paying for most of it herself

She does get donations, but the main way she way she finances it is through her restaurant. The place always seems to be busy, maybe because it's pretty darned cheap, and you get plenty for your buck.


This pork adobo cost $6.50

More in upcoming Tin Fork.

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