HCAP Weekly May 20, 2019

HCAP Participates in Charity Walk ’19
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Helps Households with their Energy Bills
HCAP Early Head Start Provides Hygiene Kits for Families in Need
Na Lima Hana Participant Secures Employment and Housing
Hā Initiative Holds Final “Family Nights” of School Year

HCAP Participates in Charity Walk ’19

Photo of Charity Walk

On May 18, 2019, the Honolulu Community Action Program participated in the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association’s Charity Walk ’19. This was HCAP’s fourth year participating in the annual Charity Walk. Since its inception in 1978, the Hawaii Visitor Industry Charity Walk has raised more than $34 million to support hundreds of local charities throughout the state.

A total of 74 HCAP staff, ohana, board members, and friends supported HCAP’s participation in the event, which included 54 registered walkers.

HCAP was represented at the Charity Walk by staff and supporters proudly wearing their HCAP t-shirts. It was a great day filled with lots of food, camaraderie, and a good workout. Thank you to everyone who donated and/or walked on behalf of the HCAP team. It was a very fun and memorable day and we are already looking forward to next year!

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Helps Households with their Energy Bills

Photo of LIHEAP flyer

HCAP will be accepting applications for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), starting June 3, 2019 and ending June 28, 2019. Offered once a year, LIHEAP provides income-eligible households with assistance in paying their electric or gas bills.

HCAP will be accepting applications at its five District Service Centers on Oahu. Applications will be accepted Monday through Friday 9 am – 12 noon.

Applicants must bring the following documents and information with them to apply:

1. CURRENT ORIGINAL HECO ELECTRIC BILL OR HAWAII GAS BILL If utility subscriber is different from applicant and does not live in household, they must sign a form and provide an ID.
2. PROOF OF RESIDENCE Provide a document other than utility bill that shows current address for applicant. (Examples: phone bill, cable bill, etc.) Welfare recipients part of the household must show documented proof of current address
3. PHOTO IDENTIFICATION Provide photo ID for all household members 18 years & older.
4. SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS Provide legal documents to verify Social Security Numbers of all household members older than 1 year of age.
5. PROOF OF AGE or DISABILITY Provide proof of age (birth certificate for ONE child 0-5 years) OR disability documentation ONLY IF NO ONE IN HOUSE IS OVER 60 YEARS OLD and HOUSEHOLD RECEIVES NO RENT SUBSIDIES
6. PROOF OF INCOME Provide proof of income for all household members. Bring all that apply: Last pay stubs for all jobs since January 2019; Self Employed Log/Receipts showing income/expenses for 2019; 2019 Award
letters for Social Security, Welfare, Unemployment, SSI; Pension/ Retirement statement, etc.
* Regardless of income, if there is at least one person in the household that receives SNAP (Food Stamps) or SSI benefits and all program requirements are met, household may be eligible for an income exemption
7. PROOF OF NON-CITIZEN STATUS If you are a non-citizen and you were born outside the US, please bring your Permanent Resident Alien Card (“Green Card”).

HCAP Early Head Start Provides Hygiene Kits for Families in Need

Photo of Early Head Start hygiene kit

In September 2018, HCAP received Charity Walk funding to support the HCAP Early Head Start Program, which provides low-income families and children with special needs home-based education opportunities at no cost.

With the Charity Walk grant, HCAP was able to promote the program by creating hygiene kits for homeless families in the community. These kits were given to Oahu’s neediest families along with an application for HCAP Early Head Start and Head Start services. Although education was listed as the HLTA Support Pillar to be addressed with the Charity Walk grant, HCAP was able to additionally address the pillars of homelessness and health through the creation of the hygiene kits used in recruitment of children and families into its early education programs.

HCAP prepared 750 hygiene kits which included the following items: bar soap, towel, Kleenex, toothbrush kit, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, hand washing soap, and sanitary pads. The hygiene kits were distributed around the island by Head Start Family Advocates with outreach coordination assistance from homeless shelter staff, the Honolulu Police Department, and other community partners.

Na Lima Hana Participant Secures Employment and Housing

Champagne and her family have faced many challenges in the past year; homelessness and unemployment among them.  The new year, however, has brought some positive changes.  Last year, the transitional shelter where Champagne resided referred her to HCAP’s Leeward District Service Center for employment services. Upon completing intake, Champagne enrolled in the Na Lima Hana Employment Core Services (ECS) Program.  She showed up for each Job Readiness Training (JRT) session with determination. Taking pointers from JRT, she developed a resume and learned how to maintain composure during job interviews.

At the time, Champagne was looking for work but also had to deal with childcare issues. Who was going to look after her youngest child while she was away at work? Though childcare was a challenge, Champagne was still set on obtaining employment and submitted applications for affordable child care.

When Champagne completed JRT, she applied for job openings everywhere: from Waianae to Pearl City.  Champagne received several job offers from restaurants and eateries across Oahu, but eventually accepted a position at a Target Starbucks in Kapolei, which is closer to home. Champagne was also fortunate to have a family member volunteer to watch her child while she worked.

Champagne persevered through challenges one step at a time: she did what she could with what she had and her efforts paid off.  Soon after securing employment, Champagne and her family were able to transition into permanent housing.

Hā Initiative Holds Final “Family Nights” of School Year

Photo of STEM Family Nights

Last week at the Hā Initiative: Creative STEM After-School Program, a 21st Century Community Learning Center, all five STEM Exploration Centers held their final “Family Nights”. Family Nights occur quarterly and gives students and parents a chance to engage in a hands-on activity, where they work together to create something they can take home. It is also an opportunity for students to showcase their projects, classwork, and certificates they have received. Parents and family members also learn about other programs and services offered by HCAP.

For the Family Nights at the Honolulu and Leeward STEM Exploration Centers, students and their parents planted corn, green and white beans, and carrots. The teachers then talked about soil, fertilizer, and how to care for the plants. They also spoke about sustainability and how we should consider growing our own food.

At the Kalihi and Central STEM Exploration Centers, students made “sock heads” with their families. Sock heads are made with nylon stockings, grass seeds, potting soil, wiggly eyes, and rubber bands. Students first funneled grass seeds and soil into the nylon stocking. Once the head is shaped, the students tied the nylon into a knot. Next, they hot glued the wiggly eyes on and made a nose. Finally, they drenched the sock head in water and put it atop a plastic cup filled with water. It will take about three to four days for the grass seeds to sprout. As the grass grows, the students will be able to trim the “hair” and make any kind of hairdo they choose.

The Windward STEM Exploration Center did something different from the other four STEM Exploration Centers: they made a living wax museum featuring eight STEM influencers: Hedy Lamarr, Dorothy Vaughan, Mae C. Jamison, Jane Goodall, Katherine C. Johnson, Sara Seager, Sally Ride and Tiera Guinn Fletcher. The Windward STEM students thoroughly enjoyed learning about these wonderful women who have influenced America and the rest of the world.