OUR SUCCESS STORIES
We have hundreds of success stories over the decades. We have chosen to highlight some of our current participants with you.
Our programs are so successful that 5 of our 7 outreach team leaders on Big Island were once a homeless teen or mom in our programs. Now they are leaders and changing lives!
Two High School Boys with Basketball Futures
This year 2020, we have TWO boys who are attending Kamehameha School (which is also a great feat). Both boys are on the basketball team and the senior has spoken with college scouts to consider for his graduation in 2021.
As part of our programs, we provide all the support they need to succeed ...even new seasons basketball shoes!
Our most current graduate of 2020!
This amazing young lady is the very first in her family to graduate high school. She is now going on to the Culinary Academy through the UH System on a full scholarship.
Social Media Posts from our 'ohanas
Our Big Island Leader Team
2 of the 5 Team Leaders are those who started in our program as either homeless mom's themselves, or even homeless teens in our program.
ALL MOMS ARE NOW HOME OWNERS
One mom owns her own business as a fashion designer, and the "structure" she built while she was homeless is now renovated and used as a rental for low income, while she lives in her other home!! She takes care of 50 homeless children in her outreach group.
Another mom is now a home owner, purchased land and built her own home alongside her children. Moving from living in a van for 8 years and now a home owner and leads a group of 12 families towards their success.
I met this mom with her 4 little girls living a car and not knowing what she would do for Christmas. We worked with this family just as all our others, and eventually we lost track of each other.
One day a woman reached out to us via Facebook that her restaurant would provide us trays of rice for the Christmas party if someone could come pick up.
We get lots of support at Christmas, so didn't really pay attention to the name. She then texted me, "I don't know if you remember me, but you are my angel. The woman who changed my life and gave me the support and courage to better myself."
This dynamic woman decided to be the change in her life and opened a restaurant that she says "continues to give back as she follows my footsteps".
As I watched her progress on Facebook, she continued to grow, posting her new stove she purchased to add to her NEW HOUSE, etc.
Now, she has moved to another island... keeping her one house a rental and opening another business and purchasing another home.
She is now our Kane'ohe Team Leader and currently has 43 children she cares for!!
An Amazing Success Story...
On another note: 100% of all our homeless families who started with us in 2003-2006 are all in a stable living condition and fully employed
When Project Hawai’i, Inc. first came to the island of Big Island, (we were actually not called Project Hawai’i, Inc. ) We found an encampment area along the waters edge. Many families had made their own make shift homes out of pallets and other misc. construction material. Some had make shift running water and truly established a community. Many of our families were 3rd generation being born into homelessness and living with grandparents who helping to raise children.
Our program visited every weekend with various supportive services, learning what is needed, learning why this situation consists and how to help these children grow with the tools to escape this cycle of poverty.
We can say that this group of families with a total of 75 children are all doing well!! Their children graduate from high school, go to college, have their own children in homes and work full-time jobs.
Donors often ask.... please let me know how my money helped a child, what is their progress? I can only say that this is a process and can take a decade to see the life changing results, sometimes it takes an entire generation to see the results of your donation.
A donation is like planting a seed, a continued donation is like watering your tree, and eventually your results will be a strong tree growing tall for a 100 years to come.
One of my favorite Successes ...
I met a teenager at the age of 15 years old. She already had a 2 year old little boy and was pregnant living in a tent with her grandmother. During our monthly birthday celebrations for this encampment we noticed it was her 16th birthday. So, we made this a special event, brought a Sweet 16 cake, party favors and really wanted to celebrate for her. Her response was shocking. This was actually the first time her birthday had been celebrated. Her first birthday cake, her first celebration... this was heartbreaking as she was pregnant and had her own little son who would never had this celebration either.
Time went on and our back to school program was underway. She stood in line to get her backpack, her supplies, etc.
I told her, "sorry, you aren't in school, you don't need these items."
She quickly left and was very mad with us.
The next Saturday with her local style attitude she stood in front of me and threw her papers at me.
She said, "Now you have to give me school supplies, I am enrolled in adult education."
I went to the local shop and purchased all the supplies on her list and returned that day.
NOW FOR THE SUCCESS!
4 years later she graduated the early educational program and became a school teacher for the head start pre-school. She was in her own apartment with her two children and was doing well.
We provide life changing support and care enough to have the tough love it takes to turn away from just being a hand out. Our program is designed to help them succeed, and this young lady is the example of OUR WHY