HCAP Weekly June 10, 2019

HCAP Head Start Ends School Year with All Staff Training
Kalihi-Palama District Service Center Provides LIHEAP Services to Chinatown-Based Organization
Work Furlough Participants Receive Job Search Assistance, Work Clothes from ECS Program
HCAP Head Start Staff Participate in Experiential Poverty Workshop
Summer Energy Saving Tips from the Weatherization Assistance Program

HCAP Head Start Ends School Year with All Staff Training

Photo of Head Start In-Service collage

HCAP Head Start ended the school year with an all staff in-service training at the Hawaii Okinawa Center. In keeping with the in-service training’s theme (“Wellness: It’s All About You”), there were a number of health-related presentations. The day opened with Farm to Early Care and Education (Farm to ECE) presentations by Head Start teaching staff; Head Start teachers regularly incorporate nutrition education and healthy, age appropriate food preparation activities into their lessons.

Head Start staff members then had the opportunity to explore a mini health fair; health and wellness vendors provided Head Start staff with information about the services provided by their organizations. HCAP Director of Human Resources Jocelyn Banks discussed the accessibility to health provider options and went over employee health benefits and open enrollment procedures.

The staff reconvened to participate in a thought provoking, goal focused presentation by Erica Kolz from Hawai‘i Health at Work Alliance (HH@WA). HH@WA is a UHA company, and membership organization of more than 375 participating companies, dedicated to creating effective and sustainable workplace wellness programs.

During lunchtime, Head Start staff were treated to a special vocal performance by Alika Moon, a former Head Start student.  Alika recently released his chart topping debut single, “Falsetto.” He was accompanied by his mentor Kapena DeLima, who is a member of the Hawaii family band Kapena.

Following lunch, HCAP Head Start staff members who recently obtained degrees from institutions of higher education were recognized for their achievements. The education clusters, IT, and ERSEA teams educated and entertained staff with presentations that summarized their school year.

The ERSEA team and guest speaker, HCAP Head Start retiree Jane Utu closed the in-service training with a touching farewell tribute to Aunty Ku’ulei Pili, who is retiring after 40 years of service. The staff left in good spirits for a well-deserved break, equipped with the tools to take care of themselves and return for a new and healthy school year in July.

Kalihi-Palama District Service Center Provides LIHEAP Services to Chinatown-Based Organization

Photo of Kalihi LIHEAP collage

Last month, Kalihi-Palama District Service Center visited the Hawaii Chinese Christian Mission Gospel Center (HCCMGC) to assist members of the Chinese-speaking community with applying for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The HCCMGC, which is located in the heart of the Chinatown Cultural Plaza, has partnered up with HCAP as a LIHEAP satellite site for more than 10 years.

Although HCCMGC is run almost exclusively by volunteers, things are run well. HCCMGC Program Director Beth Tang and lead volunteer Celina Lau make “their [HCAP staff’s] job a lot easier,” said Kalihi-Palama District Service Center Community Service Worker Melani Matthew. This includes making sure that all of the prospective applicants have been screened for eligibility and that they bring all the required documents during intake.

On the day of Kalihi-Palama District Service Center’s visit, HCAP Community Services Manager Ace Tufu and his two Community Service Workers were adequately supported by three volunteer Chinese interpreters provided by HCCMGC. Kalihi-Palama District Service Center staff feels fortunate to have such a dedicated community partner, and looks forward to continuing their LIHEAP collaboration.

Work Furlough Participants Receive Job Search Assistance, Work Clothes from ECS Program

Back in March, Kelly, Jeffrey, and Barry had no income. At the time of intake, they were all residing at Waiawa Correctional Facility and waiting to be transitioned into the Module 20 Work Furlough Program. HCAP’s Central District Service Center provided case management services to all three, and enrolled them in the Na Lima Hana Employment Core Services (ECS) Program.

Following intake, Kelly, Jeffrey, and Barry participated in Job Readiness Training (JRT). During JRT classes, Central District Service Center staff refreshed them on the rules and expectations of today’s workplace. They developed their resumes, completed mock interviews, and received a list of potential employers.

Upon their successful admission into the Module 20 Work Furlough Program, Central District Service Center staff sent them hygiene kits to use. To help with their job search, Central District Service Center referred them to Action with Aloha, where they were able to receive bus passes.

Kelly, Jeffrey, and Barry’s hard work and perseverance paid off. Kelly was hired by a local pool and spa company to be their construction laborer, Jeffrey was hired as a utility worker at a hotel restaurant in Waikiki, and Barry was hired as assistant at a large animal shelter in town. Through the ECS Program, Central District Service Center was able to help Kelly, Jeffrey, and Barry obtain the necessary work clothes and shoes to start work immediately.

Central District Service Center wishes all three program participants the best of luck and hope they continue to make positive strides in their lives.

HCAP Head Start Staff Participate in Experiential Poverty Workshop

Photo of Head Start poverty workshop

In May, HCAP Head Start’s ERSEA/Family Advocate staff participated in the Experiencing Poverty: The Challenges & Choices simulation. The 2-hour educational simulation was organized and presented by the Kamehameha Schools Community Learning Center. The experiential workshop was helpful in getting HCAP Head Start staff to think about the difficult decisions and complicated choices families in poverty face every day.

Summer Energy Saving Tips from the Weatherization Assistance Program

Photo of WAP summer energy savings tips

HCAP’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) wants to remind everyone that there are ways to save money as temperatures heat up. As you prepare for the warmest months of the year, be sure to remember some of the following energy saving tips:

Close shades and windows during the day. This will keep out sunlight and heat. Open them at night to help ventilate your home.

Check the filter on your air conditioning system. If you are using AC, make sure the filters are clean. A dirty filter can waste energy by causing your system to work harder to keep you cool.

Give the oven a rest. Consider using a microwave or cooking on an outdoor grill instead. The stove or oven can raise your kitchen temperature 5-10 degrees.

Use LED lights. Not only are LED lights more environmentally friendly, but your home will stay cooler when you use them instead of incandescent light bulbs and CFLs.

Set your thermostat to 78 degrees. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, setting your thermostat at 78°F can save you as much as 10% a year in energy costs. If 78 degrees is too warm for you, you can adjust it a bit lower to be comfortable.