December 22, 2020
Like nearly 30% of Hawaii’s workforce, Kim* lost her job in the tourism industry due to the economic impacts of the pandemic. After staying with friends and family for a while, Kim reached out to Family Promise of Hawaii in September in search of temporary shelter for herself and 2-year-old son. Family Promise provided a safe and secure unit for her family to sleep, as well as diapers, meals, and case management. While enrolled in our emergency shelter program, Kim proactively searched for new job opportunities as well as permanent housing options for her family. Kim located a two-bedroom apartment in Waikiki and was excited about the possibility of transitioning to a more permanent housing situation for her family. Unfortunately, the landlord informed her that her application was denied due to limited income and poor credit. Thankfully, Kim mentioned to the landlord that she was enrolled in a program with Family Promise. The landlord was familiar with Family Promise through our partnership with Partners In Care’s landlord engagement program (LEP). LEP provides a much-needed linkage between landlords and property managers with vacant units, and people currently experiencing or at-risk of becoming homeless. The program creates housing supply where demand generally far exceeds supply. Once the landlord learned that Kim was connected with Family Promise and LEP, her application was accepted! She was also awarded a Rapid Re-Housing voucher which helped her pay for the security deposit and move-in costs for the unit. Kim and her son are now able to celebrate the holidays in their new home!
*Name changed to protect the confidentiality of the family.
Brightening the Holidays
On December 19th, we were able to brighten the holidays for 159 children and their families as we hosted a drive-thru holiday gift event. Thanks to the generous donations of community partners, families received multiple presents for each child as well as gift cards for the household!
Mahalo to the following partners for donating presents and gift cards for the event:
Weed & Seed Hawaii, Locations Foundation, Honolulu Police Department, anonymous donation made in honor of Herbert T. Hayashi, Saint Mark Lutheran Church, Emmanuel Episcopal Church, North Coast Church Kailua, Keolumana United Methodist Church, Alpha Delta Kappa Theta Chapter & Students of Farrington High School, St. Anthony of Padua, Honolulu Japanese Seventh-Day Adventist, Jennae Porter and Family, Moanalua Lions Club, First UMC Honolulu, See Ming and Jessica Lo, Kahala Services, Renee & Stephen Latimer, Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin Buddhist Women's Association, St. Ann Church, Christ Church Uniting Disciples and Presbyterians, Roy Daniel, Parker UMC, National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, Nu'uanu Congregational Church, Holy Trinity Catholic Church, St. George Catholic Church, Dr. Harvey & Mrs. Diane, American Association of University Women-Windward O'ahu Branch, Jikoen Hongwanji, Mr. Masuo Kino, and Tucker and Bevvy!
Thanksgiving was different this year for many households. With so many families in our community struggling with food insecurity, we partnered with Zippy's to pass out coupons for 1,500 Thanksgiving plates for households impacted by the pandemic.
Some of the Zippy’s orders — 1,500 turkey plates — went to families experiencing financial instability.
Family Promise for Hawaii, a nonprofit that supports homeless and low-income families, last week ordered the turkey plates using $20,000 in CARES Act money, according to Executive Director Samantha Church, and gave out coupons for the plates to the families it serves — an estimated 500 this year — and others in the community who have been affected by the coronavirus.
“We really focus on housing and shelter, but because of COVID, (food) has also become a really distinct need, so we’ve tried to provide extra resources in that area as well,” Church said.
Family Promise for Hawaii normally does an annual sit-down Thanksgiving meal for about a dozen families, Church said, but decided to use the federal funding to provide food for a much larger number of people.
Mahalo from our Team
2020 brought many unforeseen challenges that required quick repositioning and creative problem solving. We want to Mahalo our community of supporters who have helped us rapidly meet the demands of this year. Without an increase in funding, volunteer manpower, donations of wish-list items, and community advocacy, we would not have been able to achieve the impact we did in 2020. Your support has allowed us to serve 575% more families this year! We are so proud of our strong community! You all rose to every occasion and responded to every need with generosity and compassion. Although, we know that the impacts of this pandemic will continue to be felt in the months and years ahead, we are committed to continue to provide a critical safety net for homeless and low-income families.