10 Year Challenge - From Shelter to Homeowners
A few years ago the #10yearschallenge popped up on Facebook. The idea behind the challenge was simple. Post a photo of yourself from a decade ago next to a current one to highlight the growth or wear-and-tear that had taken place over the years. Dan and Malin had a 10 years challenge of their own. In 2011 Dan decided to try his hand in a new industry after owning his own pool cleaning service. The shift proved to be more difficult than expected. Financial hardship and an eviction notice soon followed. Malin began looking for resources and heard about Family Promise through word of mouth. When the family of four was one week away from the date that they needed to be out of their apartment, they packed up their then one year-old son and five year-old daughter and entered our Emergency Shelter program.
Malin describes this moment as the “worst and best time” of her life. It was difficult for her to accept that they were homeless. It was also a reminder to not take things for granted and to cherish the people in their lives not the things they had. Despite moving weekly to various congregations through our former rotational model, the family found solace in keeping up a routine and bonding with other families in the program.
When asked about their experience, Dan and Malin spoke about how kind and welcoming people were and noted that they had to learn to receive the generosity and compassion shown to them. In thinking back on their time in our Emergency Shelter Program, Malin said, “all I wanted to do was make sure my kids were safe.” Not only are Dan, Malin and their children safe, in 2021, nearly 10 years to the month of being in our program, they purchased a home! Malin said that buying a home was “scary” because she never wanted to face housing instability again. As a family they reflect on their time at Family Promise often and let the moment serve as a reminder to be grateful for their experience and to celebrate the progress that they’ve made.
The Giving Machine is an annual holiday season service project put on by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints that allows people to purchase necessities for those in need through the convenience of a vending machine. Instead of chips and candy, the Giving Machine allowed buyers to purchase items such as a pair of shoes for a child, or a tank of gas for a working mother, or a night of shelter for a struggling family. Luckily, we were a chosen as one of several local non-profits to be a beneficiary of such generosity. This is the second year we participated in the Giving Machine, and this year we received our highest donation thanks to the community!
Pictured are (from left) Sister Joni Walker; Hawai‘i mission president Robert Walker; Pearlridge Center general manager David Cianelli; area seventy elder Voi Taeoalii; Hawai‘i mission communication director Wailana Kamau‘u; Jaime and Lt. Gov. Josh Green; Family Promise of Hawai‘i board member Justin Puckett; Family Promise of Hawai‘i board president Michelle Bartell; Hawai‘i mission assistant communication director Muff Hannemann; and state Sens. Bennette Misalucha and Kurt Fevella.
We know that fighting to end family homelessness requires different programs and approaches to best support the unique obstacles that come with the varying stages of housing instability. Each month we'll feature data on the programs being run at Family Promise. Check out the dashboard from January - March 2022 to see our impact!
Meet the Team
An Interview with Sandy Mori,
The FPH team (staff, volunteers, and board members) is diverse. We value this diversity as one of the strongest factors in our collective success. Drawing upon our range of cultural backgrounds, skills, educational levels, beliefs, and experiences fosters empathy, creativity, and community. In our upcoming newsletters we will be featuring a variety of team members at FPH so you can get to know them a little better.
This month, we get to know Sandy Mori.
What brought you to Family Promise?
Some time ago, I had volunteered to provide meals for the families during their stay at Honolulu Japanese Church. The level of support that Family Promise had mobilized in the community and the vision and the scope of its program was unique and I never forgot that. Four months ago, my husband and I moved to Hawaii to be closer to one of our daughters who had been living here and Family Promise was where I turned when I felt led to work on behalf of the house-less in the community.
Do you have any hidden talents or hobbies?
I have worked my whole life as a high school teacher and for a half a dozen years as a volunteer community mediator, so if I had to offer anything in respect to a skill that I possessed, it would probably be the ability to build trusting relationships with people.
What’s something you’re proud of?
I am proud that along with my husband, Munetaka, I helped raise two daughters, Tammy and Megumi. After they were grown and married and we were retired, Munetake and I, gratefully and humbly, had the chance to live and work in Japan as short-term missionaries for over three years.
What’s something you find challenging about your work at Family Promise?
I would like to be able to learn a little more about the cultural backgrounds of some of the current participants to whom I teach a money management class once a week.
When you are not working, what's your favorite way to relax?
I like watching movies and reading mysteries or thrillers in addition to hanging out with 'ohana.