May 27, 2020
“Is the water from the faucet safe to drink?” This question was asked of our Permanent Supportive Housing Case Manager Ernie, by Lois, the matriarch of a family of four. The family had just moved into housing after living outside for over 7 years. While many believe that families who experience chronic homelessness suffer from drug addiction, chronic mental health issues, or domestic violence, this family became homeless due to limited economic resources. Lois is unable to work because of health concerns and her adult son stopped working to ensure the safety of his family while living on the streets. It brings us joy to report that the family has now been placed in a charming home where they no longer question their physical safety. They can now enjoy the simple luxury of knowing that yes, the water that comes from the faucet is safe to drink. Ernie continues to work alongside the family to help them seek employment and access additional resources the family needs.
Finding affordable, quality housing in Hawaii is a challenge in itself, but the on-going pandemic makes it even more difficult. Never-the-less, the show must go on! Since March, eleven families experiencing chronic homelessness have moved into stable housing through the Permanent Supportive Housing program. You can learn more about the program here.
Adapting to Meet Needs
To preserve the safety and health of our guests, volunteers, staff, and community we will continue to suspend the operation of our emergency shelter rotational model through the end of 2020. While many of our congregation partners begin to create plans for how to reopen their facilities and practice social distancing, we are aware that the Family Promise model would be difficult to implement at this time. We know our rotational shelter model will continue in the future, but we don’t want to reopen it until it is safe to do so.
During the suspension of our rotational shelter model, we will be partnering with Camp Mokuleia to shelter families at their facility for the remainder of 2020. This will allow us to continue to serve vulnerable families while safely practicing social distancing. Funding for this project will come from the Emergency Solutions Grant program which was awarded supplemental funding from the CARES Act. We will also continue to shelter families in a hotel in Waikiki through June thanks to funding from Hawaii Community Foundation's Hawaii Resilience Fund. Click here to view a Haw