March 24, 2021
Family Promise of Hawaii is excited to embark on a pilot program, funded through the CARES Act, to rehouse 300-350 households experiencing homelessness in our community over an 18-month period. The program has two main goals: slow the spread of COVID-19 and increase housing opportunities for individuals and families experiencing homelessness through rapid re-housing (RRH). RRH combines rental assistance and supportive services to assist people in obtaining and maintaining housing quickly, and increasing self-sufficiency. Oahu Housing Now is a collaborative partnership between the City and County of Honolulu, Partners In Care, Housing Solutions Inc., Family Promise of Hawaii, and Alternative Structures International.
We will be providing housing navigation, case management, and ongoing supportive services to half of the households being served. Six full-time Family Promise staff members will support this program. Since the launch of Oahu Housing Now less than two weeks ago, our team has already housed two households, including a family of 6! To be eligible for this program households must be experiencing homelessness, have an active vulnerability index service prioritization decision assistance tool (VI-SPDAT) completed, and be referred through the Coordinated Entry System. Learn more about Oahu Housing Now here!
The Importance of Home During Women's History Month
This month we recognize Women's History Month. While we honor women’s contributions in American history, we also recognize the challenges many women continue to face. On average, women earn less than men across every sector of society. In addition, violence against women continues to persist. Financial hardship due to rising living costs and fleeing violence are among the top reasons women fall into homelessness. Various studies estimate that roughly 80% of mothers with children who are experiencing homelessness have previously experienced domestic violence. Family Promise of Hawaii provides safe, accessible programs to support women and their children who are experiencing housing instability.
Recently, we interviewed a few women who participated in our shelter program and asked them to define what home meant to them. One mother said, “Home is knowing that nobody's going to come up alongside us and tell us you got to move. Here we're at home. Here we're safe. Here we can laugh and nobody's going to tell us we can't. So it's been nice to close the door and lock it and say that we're safe, we're home and we're at peace.”
As we celebrate Women's History Month, we encourage you to support one of our local partner organizations that are committed to helping women. Please contact them directly if you are interested in supporting them.
Maʻi Movement- Committed to ending period poverty. Support by donating feminine hygiene products.
Aloha Diaper Bank- Working to eliminate diaper need on Oahu. Support by organizing a diaper drive.
Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies- Committed to improving Hawai‘i’s maternal, child, and family health. Support by donating new Pack N Plays, gift cards to purchase postpartum meals, or medical supplies for reproductive health.
Meet the Team
An Interview with Melisa, Lead Case Manager
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 Melisa.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a wife and mother to two teenaged boys and a seven year old daughter.
What brought you to Family Promise?
I was ready to come back into social services and help be a part of making a difference in people's lives.
Do you have any hidden talents or hobbies?
What’s something you’re proud of?
I am proud to be a mom of three amazing children.
What’s something you find challenging about your work at Family Promise?
I would not say it's challenging, but rewarding. With every challenge comes a learning experience that you grow from and you can choose to either better yourself from it or stay stagnant. I chose to better myself and overcome the challenge to make it rewarding.
When you are not working, what's your favorite way to relax?
I like spending time with my family & running.