HCAP Weekly March 25, 2019

Windward Kupuna Visit Wildlife Refuge
Kumuhonua Resident Secures Permanent Housing with Rapid Re-Housing
Ala Wai Head Start Children Participate in Tasting Activity
Work Furlough Participant Obtains Permanent Employment
Save Water to Save Energy


Windward Kupuna Visit Wildlife Refuge

Photo of Windward kupuna wildlife

Field trips with the Windward Kupuna wouldn’t be so much of an adventure if it weren’t for the little bumps in the road. Last Wednesday morning, as the kupuna convened at the Hau’ula Civic Center to get ready for their field trip to the James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge, the bus wouldn’t start.  One of the kupuna used to own an auto parts shop, and so he and several other kupuna got their hands dirty and tried to diagnose the problem. Unfortunately, they were unable to get it started. Windward District Service Center staff and the kupuna resorted to Plan B: car pool. They split up into groups, started a car pool, and headed out towards Kahuku.

The group started off their field trip at the pavilion, where Dick, their guide, talked about the history of the wildlife refuge and how it started. The public is usually allowed to come to the wildlife refuge only from the months of October to February on Saturdays, but Dick was kind enough to grant the kupuna the permission to come on this Wednesday morning in March. Many of the birds at the wildlife refuge have migrated from the north, and intend to spend a considerable amount of time in Hawaii. If there is too much disturbance from visitors, some birds end up leaving their eggs here and not returning back.

After their tour with Dick, they took a tour with Leilani, another guide, who showed them other wildlife species. It was on this tour that they learned more about the albatross as well as the bristle-thighed curlew. The kupuna were also introduced to a predator control area, which keeps out animals such as dogs, cats, mongoose, and mice. This area is capable of having as many as 200,000 birds at one time. It’s enormous!

Following the tour with Leilani, they headed back to their cars and drove to the Kahuku Sugar Mill area to grab lunch. The kupuna had their pick of places to eat for lunch: Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck, Ty’s Waffle Dogs, and other food trucks that sell local plate lunches. The kupuna enjoyed some desserts from Ono-Yo, a yogurt stand, after lunch. It was such a beautiful day to be out, and a nice last field trip for the spring session of the Kupuna Independent Life Series.


Kumuhonua Resident Secures Permanent Housing with Rapid Re-Housing

John had a hard time paying rent after he was laid off. Unable to afford housing, John searched online for temporary housing, where he found mention of Kumuhonua Transitional Living Center.

John completed the Kumuhonua application process in early 2017 and entered Kumuhonua in February of that same year. Upon entry, Case Managers at Kumuhonua helped John apply for Social Security. John also worked closely with the Housing Specialist to obtain permanent housing. John slowly regained confidence as he began collecting Social Security benefits, opened a savings account, and attended workshops on landlord/tenant rights.

John exited Kumuhonua in February 2019, successfully securing permanent housing and having saved money for at least four months of rent. John will also be receiving rental subsidies from HCAP’s Rapid Re-Housing Program. John’s journey from homelessness to housing was a long one, but was very rewarding and well-earned.


Ala Wai Head Start Children Participate in Tasting Activity

Photo of Ala Wai Head Start collage

In partnership with the Bennett Foundation’s Hawaii Farm to Early Childhood Education program, children, families, and staff of Ala Wai Head Start recently participated in a tasting activity featuring poi and coconut milk.  The Farm to ECE program is designed to help create a culture of wellness for teachers, preschool students, and their families.

The children learned about the importance of washing the ingredients before eating them. They helped wash the blueberries, strawberries, bananas, and pineapple.  The children then watched a demonstration on how to cut the fruits into bite-sized pieces, and then did it themselves.

The children worked with their families to create a smoothie recipe.  Together, they gathered the ingredients to make a smoothie, starting with poi and coconut milk.  The children then chose from other ingredients such as frozen blueberries, frozen strawberries, sweet potato, bananas, and pineapple.


Work Furlough Participant Obtains Permanent Employment

Sean is part of the Laumaka Work Furlough Center at the Oahu Community Correctional Center and was seeking assistance in obtaining employment. He came to the Kalihi-Palama District Service Center very enthusiastically and was ready to be re-enter the work force. Kalihi-Palama District Service Center staff enrolled Sean in the Na Lima Hana Employment Core Services (ECS) Program and proceeded to help him with his resume, provide him job leads, and help him apply for jobs online.

After he found work a few weeks later with a fleet services company as an auto detailer, Kalihi-Palama District Service Center staff helped him obtain his appropriate work clothes. Sean’s manager spoke highly of him, as Sean has been has working for over 4 months with the company and they are extremely pleased with his work.


Save Water to Save Energy

Photo of Save Water

Water and electric savings go hand in hand. In most cases, electricity or gas is used to heat water, so the less hot water you use, the less energy needed. When you conserve water, you’re not only saving on the water bill but electric as well. Limiting the amount and temperature of everyday water usage can really save you money. Here are a few key things you can do in your home.

  • Avoid using hot water when doing laundry. Warm and cold water use less energy than hot water. Did you know it costs an average of $0.36 for a small load of laundry from start to finish if using hot water and a dryer. When possible, choose cold or warm wash setting rather than hot and air dry clothes rather than using a dryer.
  • Turn off water heater when not home. If going on vacation, turn off your water heater. If no one is going to be home using hot water, then the water heater does not need to be heating the water ready for use. It is recommended that the water heater be turned back on a half hour before use.
  • Hold the water. You can stop money from escaping down the drain by simply turning the tap off while you brush teeth or shower. Try not to take long showers and remember to turn the water off during times of washing rather than rinsing. Many people leave the tap running while brushing their teeth. Did you know this is wasting 6 liters of water a minute?
  • Invest in water efficient devices. Energy star certified clothes washers save on energy and water cost using about 40% less water and about 25% less energy than a regular washer. Investing in a water-sense or water-efficient toilet bowl can also save you a lot on your water bill over time.
  • Low flow showerheads & aerators. For maximum water efficiency, select a showerhead with a flow rate less than 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm). HCAP’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) replaces showerheads and sink aerators with 1.5gpm devices. Apply for WAP at any of HCAP’s five District Service Centers today to see if you qualify for these measures for free!