HCAP WEEKLY November 8, 2021

Kūpuna Program Participants Surveyed About Pandemic Life
HCAP Partnership With Le Fetuao Connects Samoan Youth to Career Development Opportunities
Windward Client Struggling to Afford Food Receives Wrap-Around Assistance
Back in the Classroom with HCAP Head Start ʻEwa I Keiki

Kūpuna Program Participants Surveyed About Pandemic Life

Recently, Kūpuna Independent Life Series staff conducted a socially-distanced survey to better understand the way pandemic life impacted the health and wellness of the senior participants. Here are some of the key takeaways from the survey and a snapshot into their experiences since March 2020:

They went back to basics. Most kūpuna reported keeping a simple diet of what was available from food distribution drives, HCAP’s Kōkua Food Assistance Program boxes, and staples in their own kitchens like eggs, rice, and SPAM. 

They stayed isolated. During the height of the pandemic, even going outside to walk around for daily exercise was uncommon for most of the kūpuna surveyed. 20% of the survey participants reported feeling depressed due to being unable to go out or see family and friends. 

They tried telehealth. While about half of the participants reported seeing their primary care provider in person at least once, many gave telehealth a try. Kūpuna with pre-existing conditions appreciated that their doctors were able to offer support and guidance without having to visit a clinic. 

They adopted pets. Four participants adopted pets for companionship during the pandemic. Cats were the pet of choice for all four kūpuna, and they were happy to report none have been returned to the shelter. 

They got vaccinated. 90% of kūpuna surveyed reported being vaccinated for COVID-19.

The Fall 2021 Kūpuna Independent Life Series will run every Friday through December 17. Staff and seniors are already getting ready for the Spring 2022 series, which will mark the program’s return to an in-person classroom setting for the first time in almost two years.


HCAP Partnership With Le Fetuao Connects Samoan Youth to Career Development Opportunities

Like many Oʻahu residents, Mata lost her job due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unemployment benefits helped her cover basic expenses while she looked for work, and eventually Mata began a new job as a screener at the Honolulu airport. She was able to make ends meet in her new position, but realized that a career change would be necessary if she ever wanted to reach her goal of home ownership. 

Mata heard about HCAP through Le Fetuao: Samoan Language Center, a community organization that helps Samoan youth build positive futures while staying culturally connected. HCAP’s Nā Lima Hana Employment Core Services Program recently partnered with Le Fetuao to connect participants like Mata with employment resources and tuition assistance. 

Through Nā Lima Hana, Mata was approved for tuition assistance to attend vocational school. She is now enrolled in the Phlebotomy program at HCAP partner Professional Healthcare Educators, and hopes that becoming a certified phlebotomist will be the first step toward saving for her own home and eventually becoming a nurse. 

Click Here to learn more about Nā Lima Hana Employment Core Services.

Windward Client Struggling to Afford Food Receives Wrap-Around Assistance

Charles was struggling to put food on the table when he decided to stop by HCAP’s Windward District Service Center hoping to find help. He had lost his unemployment benefits, but was still unable to return to work, and had been suffering from food insecurity as a result. 

Windward District staff filled a bag of canned goods from the center’s emergency food pantry for Charles, and also gave him a grocery card to help him purchase more necessities. 

Staff also learned that although Charles owns his home, his employment situation has made it difficult to keep up with monthly utility bills. In an effort to ease this burden, Charles was encouraged to apply for the Weatherization Assistance Program. The program provides eligible households with home energy audits and energy efficient appliances free of charge to help reduce energy costs and make utility bills more manageable. 

Charles no longer has to worry about being able to afford his next meal, and continues to work with Windward District Service Center to improve his situation. He is looking forward to his upcoming home energy audit through the Weatherization Assistance Program and learning about improving his home’s energy efficiency. In the meantime, Charles has been sharing photos of the healthy meals he has been able to make thanks to the food assistance he received.

Click Here to learn more about the Weatherization Assistance Program

Click Here to learn more about Kōkua Food Assistance

Back in the Classroom with HCAP Head Start ʻEwa I Keiki

HCAP Head Start returned to the classroom last week, and the keiki of ʻEwa I have been enjoying fun, hands-on learning activities!

Zayne played in the block center this week, using both hands to build a tall tower with Duplo blocks. This center helps keiki develop their problem solving, math, and fine motor skills. Zayne identified the red, green, red, green color pattern toward the top and continued the pattern with more red and green blocks. 

Justice learned about technology with an educational computer game called Diego’s World. He used his eye-hand coordination to move the mouse and cursor to select letters on the monitor and spell out his first name. 

Xanstyn worked on developing his critical thinking and fine motor skills in a science activity with shells. Using a magnifying glass, Xanstyn inspected the details of different sea shells up close and made observations about them. These activities encourage the keiki’s interest in science exploration. 

Click Here for more information about HCAP Head Start & Early Head Start.