Frequently Asked Questions:  This is a perfect place to find those answers for those who are writing a school report, or need more information for their research. AFTER reading this page, if you have questions, please let me know.

Mahalo again for your wonderful interest in helping our homeless keiki

QUESTION: How, Why and When did Project Hawai'i, Inc. get started?

 

ANSWER: While this is a complex question and sort of hard to answer due to the facts that our islands face, I will do my best to explain How, Why and When Project Hawai'i, Inc. got started:

 

  • WHEN: Project Hawai'i, Inc. started on the Big Island in 2002, and then expanded to O'ahu in 2006. Project Hawai'i, Inc. was formally Christmas Wish Program, Inc. which was formed in the bay area of California in 1988.

  • HOW: Project Hawai'i was developed by a few dedicated volunteers who truly wish to see the poverty end among the homeless children on our islands. We do have all the proper forms, filings, legal standing as any other nonprofit. We just don't have paid staff, government funding, or a resource to count on for funding. SO HOW...we rely on the public to support our keiki needs.

  • WHY: Well this questions is always asked of me, and the reason WHY, truly is that is what I was born to do...take care of the homeless children. It is hard to explain. I have been asked about my degree, or if I went to school, or why is this important....it is truly my life mission. My "kuleana" here on earth. So, like a musician, or an artist, or someone who just does what their soul feels...that is what it is to me.              I started this program at the age of 16 on the mainland. 

QUESTION: How is Project Hawai'i, Inc., funded?

ANSWER: Project Hawai'i, Inc., is solely supported by public donations. What does that mean

  • That means, we rely on public donations, support, community grants we apply for and fundraising efforts conducted throughout the year. Companies often sponsor, community groups often conduct fundraisers, we host bake sales, work with local schools, and participate in community events that allow us to raise awareness and funds.

    • We ARE NOT funded by the county, state or government.

Question: How does a donor or volunteer know that their efforts make a difference.

Answer: Great question. Project Hawai'i, Inc., is not a bandaid or quick fix. It is a process that allows the homeless children the opportunity to build self-esteem, life and social skills that will help them to escape their cycle of poverty. Our past records show that children do escape this cycle. Teen go back to school. get GED's, gain employment, attend college, and more. Single moms move into homes, secure jobs, and stop their cycle of homelessness. Since this is what WE CHOOSE to do, we too want the same success for these precious children as all of you do. We are with them every step of the way, and will continue to provide support as they transition into their new journey of living in a home.

QUESTION: What children does Project Hawai'i, Inc provide services to?

Age, Area, Living Situations, etc.

ANSWER: 

  • We provide year round services to children living in poverty stricken, substandard make shift housing situations, such as cars, tents, and other non traditional housing options. These children live without running water, electricity, and basic life needs.

 

WE DO NOT provide services to children who live in shelters...they are not truly homeless...just not in their own home. Those facilities have government and other support to provide the needed resources for the families, therefore our limited resources are not needed.

  • Ages. We provide minor children under the age of 18, so all ages between infant to 17 years of age. 

QUESTION: How many homeless children are here in Hawai'i?    

           How many children to does Project Hawai'i, Inc. care of annually?

ANSWER: 

 

  • Point of Contact Statistics show that there are 23,000 homeless children in the state of Hawai'i...all islands. The AVERAGE age of a homeless PERSON is 5. And there are approx. 1,500 homeless children UNDER the age of 5.  The homeless crisis is NOT just the adults and veterans of our state. It is the children!

  • Project Hawai'i provides services to approx 1,500 individual homeless children throughout the year. What does that mean? That means that we do not provide 1,500 children services at the same time. During the holidays we typically have a 60-70% increase in our numbers. We conduct monthly outreach and will find newhomeless children, and may loose track of some..so the numbers fluctuate month to month, holiday to holiday.

QUESTION: How does Project Hawai'i, Inc. find these children?

ANSWER:

Project Hawai'i, Inc. volunteers conduct monthly outreach to not only ensure our current homeless keiki are provided for, but to also seek out new homeless families.  This means we go into the bushes, up in the mountains and other areas that might be "perfect" for families to pitch a tent. It used to be so much easier when the 10 miles of the Wai'anae Coast was filled with tents...but now we have to search them out. We do provide island wide outreach, but our primary location is the West Coast of O'ahu.

We do provide island-wide services on Big Island as well. Since we have such a wonderful support system on Big Island, we no longer have to seek out the homeless, they come to us by the hundreds to our events. 

QUESTION: What does "OUTREACH" consist of?

              How often does Project Hawai'i, Inc., conduct their outreach?

ANSWER: 

  • Outreach is our main way of keeping in touch with our homeless children, finding new one's and building the trust from our families that allow us to help their children grow and escape the cycle of poverty. Outreach consists of our volunteers delivering hygiene, food, clothing and emergency or life necessities to the children living in the bushes, cars, tents etc. Depending on the holiday or the season, we will also deliver other items and supportive care needs

  • Project Hawai'i, Inc., provides outreach at least twice a month, mostly depending on the public support and resources provided for our keiki. While every outreach is different, we do try to have a "theme" like, one week food, another hygiene, etc.

QUESTION: What is the main reason for homelessness?

              Why are these families homeless?

ANSWER:  This too is a complex question and has several levels of answers. There are stereotypical homeless situations, but we deal with the children and families that don't always fall with in those stereotypes.  Please use this with extreme caution and consideration AND WITH RESPECT for the children's sake. I love these children and only wish the best for them. These following answers can be taken out of content and truly hurt them...so please use with caution.

 

  •   In my opinion from years of experience and working with these families across the islands....my number one reason for the homelessness is LACK OF EDUCATION, socially, emotionally and educationally. What does that mean? To begin with, most of the parents are illiterate, and cannot even fill out a simple application. Socially, they don't have the "normal" social and behavioral skills to participate in the "real" world, hold down a job, have mainstream friends, or life a lifestyle that would be considered socially accepted. And emotionally/mentally, these families are not equipped to take on the mental challenges of everyday life, stresses, and emotions of being "normal". THIS STATE has failed these families from the parents down to the child. Lack of proper care for these families before this situation happened.

  • It comes down to the basics. If a person doesn't have the basic life skills needed to survive, hold down a job, skills to pay simple bills, concept of budgeting and so forth....they cannot under any circumstances keep on a track of non homelessness. So, people say, there isn't enough affordable housing, or there aren't enough jobs, or they are on drugs, the list goes on and on. BUT THAT IS NOT THE CASE. The families we provide service to are not even close to being ready for those responsibilities. So without the proper life and social skills, money won't help, free housing won't help, a job won't help...it has to start with education.  I actually have a 27-month transitional housing project plan, but of course it is not politically correct, so I only talk with deaf ears. Without our homeless population numbers, our government would no longer have the access of funding needed to keep those "working with the homeless" employeed.

Please feel free to contact us to use any of our information or photos to help promote the awareness and fundraising efforts towards our programs.
 All material is copy written 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015