Homeless Tahitians are to receive a new day centre outside French Polynesia's capital, Papeete.
Construction will soon begin on a new building at the Catholic Mission's Te Vai Ete property which will provide showers, toilets, laundry, kitchen, dining and treatment rooms.
The Te Vai Ete facility will offer the homeless meals, a place to shower and to wash their clothes.
Staff will accompany them to employment, help with personal administration and offer medical aid through general practitioners and specialists.
French Polynesian president Edouard Fritch and vice-president Tearii Alpha joined the Catholic Mission's Monsignor Jean-Pierre Cottanceau and Father Christophe Barlier to sign a lease on the land in perpetuity.
Families minister Isabelle Sachet was also present.
Te Vai Ete has been operating since 1994 exclusively with volunteers and on donations.
The new structure is expected to cost $US1.5-million (CFP franc 150-million).
Prior to Covid-19's arrival, homeless rates in Tahiti exceeded mainland France by a figure of five to one, according to Father Christophe, with one in every thousand Tahitians homeless in mid 2019. The rate has been compounded by the pandemic and recent economic uncertainty.