Gas or Groceries?


Ever heard of choose your own adventure books? You know the ones where the reader chooses different storyline options to get different endings depending on what’s chosen? Many Hawaii households who are Asset Limited, Income Constrained, and Employed, or ALICE, are regularly faced with the difficult decision of choosing what basic necessities to go without to prioritize others. ALICE households are those which earn above the federal poverty level but still find themselves unable to cover all of their basic needs. According to the most recent study done by unitedforalice.org, 1 in 3 households in Hawaii are considered ALICE. Although these households don’t get the fun of adventure books, they are regularly faced with making difficult decisions of choosing one hardship over another such as: buying groceries or putting gas in the car, paying the electric bill or going to the doctor, paying the rent or affording childcare. Each choice creates a different outcome that often worsens and causes further financial strain in the future.

Take for instance the decision to pay rent over childcare for a minimum wage earner in Hawaii. In order to pay the average childcare cost for one infant, which is $1,100/month according to the Economic Policy Institute, a minimum wage worker would have to work 34 weeks at full-time to afford the annual cost of childcare for one infant! Additionally, in order to afford the average two-bedroom apartment in Hawaii, a minimum wage worker would have to work 149 hours in a week! The pandemic puts further strain on many ALICE households as the Economic Research Organization at University of Hawaii states that 10,000 residents have fallen behind on rent since the start of the pandemic.

Resources such as oneoahu.org/renthelp and Family Promise of Hawaii's prevention program provide much-needed support to those whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID, and will hopefully help to keep those who were already ALICE from becoming homeless. According to United for ALICE, "the future success of our communities is directly tied to the financial stability of these fragile ALICE households.” If you or someone you know is in need of rental assistance, contact us or reach out to 2-1-1 for additional community resources.


 

New Volunteer Portal

Current volunteer opportunities, trainings, how-to guides and answers to frequently asked questions can now be found on our Volunteer Portal. The volunteer portal is a one stop shop that allows volunteers to see upcoming opportunities. Accessing the portal is very easy, simply click the "volunteer login" icon at the top of the page of Familypromisehawaii.org website and type in the passcode to enter. To receive the passcode complete the volunteer application form and training module 1. A link to the form can be found at Familypromisehawaii.org/volunteer. If you have already been trained as a FPH volunteer email Volunteer@familypromisehawaii.org to receive the passcode.

Steps to Accessing the Volunteer Portal:

1) Fill out the volunteer application form

2) After completing the form an email will be sent to you with a link to Module 1:General Volunteer Training. This module will give you an overview of FPH.

3) After module 1 is completed, the passcode to the portal will be emailed and you'll be free to explore!


 

Meet the Team

An Interview with Maria Styke, Volunteer

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 Maria.


Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a proud mother of 3 and have lived in the Hawaiian islands for about 20 years.

What brought you to Family Promise?

I'm very active with my church. Before COVID we would prepare dinner and host the families overnight. I found that the brief time I spent with the families hosting dinner and talking story with them, the more I wanted to do.

Do you have any hidden talents or hobbies?

I love swimming, kayaking, being in nature, relaxing on our beautiful beaches and helping my community by spreading the Aloha.

What’s something you’re proud of?

I am proud of being a mother to 3 beautiful children.

What’s something you find challenging about your work at Family Promise?

Nothing besides COVID restrictions.

When you are not working, what's your favorite way to relax?

I like to be on the beach, drive around the island or read a book.

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.