HCAP Weekly January 23, 2017

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In this week’s issue:

HCAP’s Hale Kākou- Rent, Deposit, and Utility Assistance Program Ends
Kumuhonua Helps Couple Once At-Risk of Homelessness
At Kalihi STEM Exploration Center, Coding is Fun and Games
Single Mom Finds Job Skills and Permanent Housing Through Na Lima Hana and Hale Kākou
Planting Seeds of Knowledge at Windward STEM
Kupuna Independent Life Series Began This Week


HCAP’s Hale Kākou- Rent, Deposit, and Utility Assistance Program Ends

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This week, HCAP’s Hale Kākou – Rent, Deposit, and Utility Assistance Program disbursed its final payments to landlords on the island of Oahu. Since HCAP began Hale Kākou in October 2016, the program has helped 72 individuals and families either stay in their homes or move into permanent housing.

HCAP has expended all available funding and is no longer taking applications for the program. We will make an announcement through our communications and social media platforms should additional funding for these services become available in the future.

Tehani Diaz, Director of Community Services, shared “We are thankful for the opportunity to provide this valuable service to our community and recognize that there is a great need for this type of funding.”


Kumuhonua Helps Couple Once At-Risk of Homelessness

Photo of Zenaida & Alvin

In January 2015, Zenaida and Alvin were forced to vacate their home in Waianae and found themselves at risk of becoming homeless. Alvin was the sole breadwinner in their household, and made just enough to get by. The year before their eviction, Zenaida had been left wheelchair bound after suffering from a stroke. With a limited household income, Zenaida and Alvin had nowhere to go.

Fortunately, within a few weeks, Zenaida and Alvin were referred to Kumuhonua Transitional Living Center. Over the course of their time at Kumuhonua, Zenaida and Alvin gained valuable skills on budgeting and financial planning for emergencies and other unforeseen events. After almost two years, Zenaida and Alvin were able to save up enough money to obtain permanent housing. In December 2016, they were able to make the full transition from Kumuhonua to a rental unit in Waipahu.


At Kalihi STEM Exploration Center, Coding is Fun and Games

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This week at the Hā Initiative: Creative STEM After-School Program’s Kalihi STEM Exploration Center, the students continued working on their computer programming skills by creating their own video games in Scratch, a free visual programming language developed by MIT Media Lab. Many of the kids are devoted Star Wars fans, so they were thrilled to learn that this week’s challenge involved creating a space invaders-themed game. In order to complete their projects, the students had to use and apply their knowledge of rotations in degrees, x-y grids, and variables. Once everyone in the class finished, there was a big in-class expo and competition in which the kids presented their completed projects. They were judged on style, functionality, and creativity. The winners of the competition were awarded healthy snacks. But in the end, it was the journey that was worthwhile. “The important thing is that we all learned a lot, and had a lot of fun,” said Aladdin, a 5th grade student.


Single Mom Finds Job Skills and Permanent Housing Through Na Lima Hana and Hale Kākou

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Earlier last year, Natalie contacted the Kalihi-Palama District Service Center, looking for help. Due to domestic violence, she and her children moved to Oahu from the US Mainland. At the time, Natalie was unemployed, homeless, and temporarily staying with family. With the help of a Community Worker, Natalie enrolled in the Na Lima Hana Employment Core Services Program, completed her Job Readiness Training, and updated her resume. Following a referral to YWCA’s Dress for Success program, she was outfitted with interview clothes, including shoes and a bag. With the assistance provided by Na Lima Hana, Natalie quickly secured employment.

With steady employment income and documented homeless status, Natalie and her family became eligible for the Hale Kākou- Rent, Deposit, and Utility Assistance Program. At the Kalihi-Palama District Service Center, Natalie completed the paperwork for the Hale Kākou program, worked with HCAP staff to secure a rental agreement in the local area, and was approved for deposit and first month’s rent for her new home.


Planting Seeds of Knowledge at Windward STEM

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This week at the Hā Initiative: Creative STEM After-School Program’s Windward STEM Exploration Center, the students discovered the exciting world of plants.

The class took a walk outdoors and examined the small grove of native fruits, nuts, and flower trees right outside their classroom at Waiahole Elementary School. The students had to follow the steps of the scientific method. First, they asked a question about the plants they were observing. In this case, the question was: “Do all plants have seeds?” In order to answer the question, the students proceeded with research; they collected various fruits, flower pods, and nuts to examine in the classroom. Next, the students constructed a hypothesis about plants and seeds. Then, they tested the hypothesis. Finally, the students analyzed the data to see if their hypothesis were true or false.

In addition to learning how to think like a scientist, the class learned that seeds come in all different shapes, sizes, and textures.


Kupuna Independent Life Series Began This Week

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This week the Kupuna Independent Life Series began at four locations throughout Oahu. This spring the program is offered at the Senior Residence at Maluhia, St. Augustine’s By the Sea, Kahuku Elderly Hauo’li Hale, and the Leeward District Service Center.

For the next 13 weeks, the curriculum at the Leeward District Service Center will center on heart care, tai chi and field trips to self-sustaining farms in the Waianae area. The Leeward Kupuna will celebrate the 5th anniversary of the Kupuna Independent Life Series in 2017. This week the Kupuna learned the mechanics of the heart, and focused on blood pressure. They learned how to take their own blood pressure.

Currently, twenty percent of HCAP’s client population is 55-years and older. We look forward to providing this program to our Kupuna.