HCAP WEEKLY April 5, 2021

HCAP Contributes $50,000 to HomeAid Hawaii to Support Permanent Housing for Homeless in Kalaeloa!
Hale Kākou Program’s Rental and Mortgage Assistance Suspended Until Further Notice
After Losing Employment Due to COVID-19, Windward Resident Finds A New Job and Regains Independence
Niuhelewai Scholars Project Helps State Residents Try College for Free
Head Start Keiki Focus on Reading, Writing and Arithmetic!

HCAP Contributes $50,000 to HomeAid Hawaii to Support Permanent Housing for Homeless in Kalaeloa!

We are pleased to announce that on Thursday, April 8th, Honolulu Community Action Program, Inc. (“HCAP”) presented a check of $50,000 to HomeAid Hawaiʻi. The contribution will support HomeAid Hawaii in the development of Kamaʻokū, a master planned community in Kalaeloa, that provides permanent housing for homeless individuals. The funds will specifically be used towards helping to weatherize the homes in order to make them more energy-efficient. Kamaʻokū, the first kauhale of its kind, will include 36 tiny homes, a community center, a multi-purpose gathering space, and a community farming area. HCAP’s contribution, through CARES Act funding, will help to provide housing for one of the most vulnerable populations of the COVID-19 pandemic. HCAP’s Kumuhonua Transitional Living Center Program Manager Davilyn Chang and HomeAid Hawaiʻi’s Executive Director, Nani Medeiros were in attendance for the check presentation. After the check presentation, Nani gave a tour of the construction site and showed everyone the tiny homes being developed. Nani explained that the homes are 90 square feet and are designed for single occupants.

HCAP Executive Director, Robert N.E. Piper stated, “I’m proud and humbled to support the fine work of HomeAid Hawaii in its delivery of Kamaʻokū to those who’ve proudly served our nation and who remain an important yet forgotten part of our community. Today, HCAP stands proudly with HomeAid Hawaii and all of its supporters on this kauhale which represents the first building block of many more to come in our unified battle to end homelessness in our community.”

Mahalo to HomeAid Hawaiʻi for its partnership with our agency. These types of partnerships are important in delivering quality programs and services to low-income individuals and families on Oʻahu, especially during these challenging times due to COVID-19. Our agency looks forward to sharing more about the Kamaʻokū community as the project progresses.


Hale Kākou Program’s Rental and Mortgage Assistance Suspended Until Further Notice

Until further notice, Rental and Mortgage assistance services through the Hale Kākou Program are suspended. Utility assistance remains available.

No new applications for Rental and Mortgage assistance will be processed at this time. Applications for Utility assistance will continue to be processed.

 If you have already applied to the Hale Kākou Program for Rental and Mortgage assistance and your application is pending approval, no action is needed. All pending applications will be revisited subject to available funding.

After Losing Employment Due to COVID-19, Windward Resident Finds A New Job and Regains Independence

Chase first came to HCAP’s Windward District Service Center hoping he could regain employment through the Nā Lima Hana Employment Core Services Program.  He heard about the Windward District Service Center not just from living in the windward community all his life, but also from friends and family who had been receiving wrap-around services from the Windward District Service Center.

Chase, like many other members of our community, was greatly impacted by the effects of COVID-19.  Prior to the economic closures due to the pandemic, Chase was employed, living on his own, and thriving. But sadly, the company he worked for had to stop its operations when the pandemic hit, and he was “temporarily” laid-off.  There were many delays and setbacks with his unemployment benefits and finding new employment became a real struggle.  Once businesses started to open back up, Chase saw some hope. The company he worked for reopened and he was able to return to work.  But unfortunately, Chaseʻs luck was short-lived. The decline in our state’s economy had not only taken its toll on workers like Chase, but the company as well. Chase was once again laid-off, but this time without any hope of getting his job back.  Due to his financial situation, Chase had to move out of his apartment and find housing he could afford with the little savings he had left.  He found himself having to also depend on his family for help. 

However, Chase did not give up. He continued to search for employment and locate resources that could assist him. He contacted Community Worker, Cory, from the Windward District Service Center and was immediately enrolled in the Nā Lima Hana Employment Core Service Program.  Chase then worked with the staff at the Windward District to fill out his intake forms, complete the Job Readiness Training, and update his resume. The Windward District Service staff then made job referrals for Chase and helped him submit dozens of applications.  Chase was very determined to become self-sufficient, and the staff at the Windward District Service Center were right there to support him. It didnʻt take long before Chase was finally able to regain employment! We are pleased to share that he is now a full-time tour guide with Kailua Sailboards & Kayaks, Inc. Thanks to HCAP’s Nā Lima Hana Employment Core Service Program, Chase was able to receive his initial employment attire, and recently received his first incentive gift card for reaching 30 days of employment!  

Chase is very excited to once again feel a sense of independence and self-sufficiency, and is very grateful to the staff at Windward District Service Center for the ongoing support that they have offered not only to himself, but to the rest of the community that he has lived in his entire life.  “COVID-19 hit me hard financially,” Chase shared with staff. “But now, Iʻm looking forward to being able to save money again and get back on my feet.” 

Our state is now in the process of recovering from the impacts of COVID-19.  Chase is a prime example of how HCAP services and programs have helped our the people of Hawai’i to recover and regain sufficiency and recover in this time of great difficulty and uncertainty.


Niuhelewai Scholars Project Helps State Residents Try College for Free

Spreading word of local resources and opportunities is one of the key functions of HCAPʻs Nā Lima Hana Employment Core Services (ECS) Program. Last week, our ECS staff learned about a great opportunity being offered at Honolulu Community College called the Niuhelewai Scholars Project. In order to learn more about this initiative, our ECS staff met with Kalani Kaawa Flores from Honolulu Community College. Kalani shared that the Niuhelewai Scholars Project allows Hawai’i state residents to try a year of college for free. The project will cover the studentʻs tuition, books, and other fees for up to 12 credits at Honolulu Community College. In order to qualify for the program, the participant must be a state resident, referred to the project by partner organizations, have not attended college before, demonstrate need of financial assistance, and have a high school diploma or GED. Applications for the Fall 2021 semester are being accepted until April 30,  2021.

Through this partnership, our ECS Program hopes to expand our services to Niuhelewai Scholars Project students, and also refer qualifying ECS clients to the project. This will allow our ECS clients with the desire to attend college full-time a great opportunity to minimize the cost of tuition and it will allow Niuhelewai’s clients the opportunity to take non-credit courses with tuition covered.

For more information about the Niuhelewai Scholars Project, visit: https://www.honolulu.hawaii.edu/hawaiian/niuhelewaischolars

For more information about HCAPʻs Nā Lima Hana Employment Core Services (ECS) Program, visit: https://www.hcapweb.org/na-lima-hana-employment-core-services-program/


Head Start Keiki Focus on Reading, Writing and Arithmetic!

By developing keikiʻs reading, writing and arithmetic skills, our HCAP Head Start Program not only prepares keiki for kindergarten, but also sparks self-confidence in their learning abilities! Here are some of the many ways our keiki are learning their foundational skills and building confidence and through our program.

I can read!

Kennedy from Halawa says “I can read!” Kennedy is now able to identify food items and brands in her kitchen. To practice her understanding, she cuts and pastes the food brands together to create a collage. She can identify and sound some letters and read them to her family. “B-Bear, N-Nutri-bar, T-Taco Bell, H-Hot Pockets, D-water (Dasani Brand).” Using real life items to practice comprehension is a great way to encourage students to begin reading!

Print Concepts

Shane from Pohakea I,  is developing his fine motor skills, learning shapes, numbers, and letters at home! Shane has also been practicing storybook recall and drawing a picture of the story using a variety of colors. Mom is grateful to have her child in the program. Although Shaneʻs mom works full time, she believes in her child’s education. Keep learning Shane, you are doing awesome!

Math Station

Matthew from Kunia 3, utilized recycled material at home to create an interactive math station suggested from the weekʻs lesson plan.  His mom improvised in creating the math station by using straws as counters, and labeling recycled tubes from 0 to 9. Great job Matthew and mom!

Number Line

Valentine from Kunia 3 used number concepts and operations to build her own number line. She utilized numbered puzzle pieces and connected pom poms in a line to match the correct quantity. This activity is building Valentineʻs basic arithmetic skills so she is confident and prepared once she starts kindergarten.