Archive for the ‘Activities’ Category
Thursday, May 9th, 2013
Kalei Perry, left, calls Mary Ann Lopes her “best friend.”
Hale Kipa foster parents Mary Ann and Robert Lopes know what it’s like to welcome new additions to their family. The couple, who have eight children, 27 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, have helped more than 10 foster youth in the past decade for stays ranging from 6 months to 3 years.
“We wanted to give back,” said Mary Ann, a stay-at-home mom, of getting involved as a foster parent. She has worked with foster youth ages 13 years and up, many of who remain in contact for years after leaving the program. “The kids who come our way are like family to us.”
Kalei Perry, who turned 18 years old in January, agrees. After Hale Kipa connected her with the Lopes family as a runaway youth at age 16, she immediately felt welcome in their Kapolei home.
“It is a local-style large family, and the first day, we just clicked,” said Perry, who calls Mary Ann her “best friend,” with whom she eagerly shares activities like grocery shopping and frequent family gatherings.
Perry, who earned her degree from Kapolei High School, recently completed training to become a certified nursing assistant. She will continue her education at Leeward Community College this fall, with the goal of using her skills in math and science, as well as her interest in health and working with children, to become a pediatrician.
“We tell the kids, ‘With education, you can be anything you want to be,’” said Mary Ann, who has helped all of her children and foster children earn their diplomas.
Although she is no longer in the foster program, Perry continues to live with Mary Ann and Robert, who are currently foster parents to a 14-year-old girl. Perry also continues to work with Hale Kipa on educational support.
“I was in and out of foster homes,” Perry said. “This was my fifth one. Hale Kipa stepped in and introduced me to Aunty Mary Ann and Uncle Robert, who made me feel like a part of the family.”
Wednesday, May 8th, 2013
Hale Kipa has a variety of Oahu and Hilo resource caregivers devoted to caring for Hawaii’s youth. Our families are unique in their styles of delivering services.
Considering different cultures and geographical locations, Hale Kipa’s Program Coordinator and Foster Home Developer take extra care in matching a youth to a resource home.
Some of our dedicated resource caregivers have been licensed through Hale Kipa for many years. One family has been with us since 1997. Although referrals have been increasing in need and complexity, families endure challenges, encourage successes and continue to provide a therapeutic home. Families are supported by Hale Kipa Therapists, a Program Coordinator, Foster Home Developer and treatment team members in the community.
It takes a special family to invite youth into their home and provide nurturing care. Our resource caregivers provide structure to the youth and stabilize living conditions to better their opportunities in life. Caregivers build relationships, teaching the youth to value themselves and project successful futures. Many youth keep in contact with their resource families long after being discharged from the foster program, with the sense of family, referring to them as aunty and uncle.
As referrals increase, so does the need for resource families. If you live on Oahu and are interested in becoming a resource caregiver, call Tanya at (808) 589-1829, ext. 407. For Hilo inquiries, call Clarissa at (808) 969-1935.
Friday, May 3rd, 2013
We are proud to announce that we have been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Weinberg Friends Program as part of a service project led by the Rotary Club of Honolulu Sunrise.
The grant will be used to enhance computer literacy and job training through our Youth Outreach (YO!) program, which in collaboration with the Waikiki Health Center, provides assistance to runaway and homeless youth and young adults on Oahu with street outreach, case management, counseling and health services.
“This grant will enable us to better provide vital computer literacy and job training skills to our at-risk youth by ensuring that they have access to essential software and technology,” said Punky Pletan-Cross, chief executive officer of Hale Kipa. “We are grateful to be selected as the recipient of this generous Weinberg Friends Program grant by the Rotary Club of Honolulu Sunrise.”
The grant funds will also be used to purchase essential operational items for its Waikiki facility, including kitchen equipment for preparing 4,000 meals a year to nearly 500 at-risk individuals; as well as washers and dryers for drop-in laundry services. A video training and self-expression pilot program may also be launched using remaining funds.
As part of the grant process, the Rotary Club of Honolulu Sunrise participated in a service project from 8 a.m. to noon on April 27, 2013, to benefit the Winners’ Camp of the Hawai‘i Leadership Academy on Kamehame Ridge. It is the 14th consecutive year that the club has secured the Weinberg Friends Program grant, funded by The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Inc., to benefit an Oahu nonprofit organization.
Tuesday, March 5th, 2013
Hale Kipa and High Tech Youth Network (operated by Computer Clubhouse New Zealand) join forces!!
Both agreed to establish & promote a collaborative working relationship to empower young people and communities to become more capable, creative, and confident life-long learners and entrepreneurs.
Our new Youth Service Center will include a High Tech Youth studio linking social & cultural capital and values with digital advanced technology.
Tuesday, March 5th, 2013
Midweek West Oahu Islander: By Jaimie Kim
Hale Kipa has served as a haven for at-risk youths for more than four decades, and now the nonprofit seeks to expand its reach with a forthcoming Ewa campus.
The additional service comples will target what has been identified as an Oahu area of need.
“The decision to prior-itize this complex was not made easily or lightly,” said Tracy Janowicz, director of quality improvement and facilities.
“After significant research, it became clear that the majority of the youths and families that Hale Kipa serves are in Central and Leeward Oahu.”
With locations currently in Waikiki, Honolulu and Kaneohe, an additional campus in Ewa would enable easier access for those that use Hale Kipa’s services the most.
The organization has been in the process of acquiring the funds necessary to begin construction for several years.
In order to achieve its goal of building a campus in Ewa, it launched a capital campaign, writing grant proposals for state and city funds.
The organization is now $800,000 away from the $6 million needed to obtain a USDA loan that will provide it with $12 million, so it’s now recruiting support from individuals and businesses.
The campus complex, which is expected to begin construction this summer, will be built on the Old Fort Weaver Road and will include all the programs Hale Kipa currently offers.
“It includes not only our historical roots as a shelter, which is where we started in 1970,” said Janowicz, “but also the educational facility, which addresses the educational and vocational needs of our youths, (skills that are) essential to their economic, as well as their emotional emancipation.”
Shelter services, foster care and professional counseling are some of the ways in which Hale Kipa supports at-risk youths.
According to Janowicz, the organization’s mission is to “provide opportunities and environments that strengthen and encourage youths, their families and communities to actualize their potential and social responsibility.”
It has developed a video that shares the story of Hale Kipa and provides more information on the organization from the perspective of the youths it assists. It can be viewed on the homepage of its website, halekipa.org.
Those interested in supporting the construction of the Ewa campus can contact Hale Kipa at 615 Piikoi St., Suite 203, via its website or by phone at 589-1829, ext. 102.
Friday, February 15th, 2013
By Punky Pletan-Cross
Op-Editorial piece featured in the Star Advertiser on 02/13/13
Punky Pletan-Cross, CEO of Hale Kipa, Inc.
The past year has seen nonprofit organizations weathering sea changes in the way the government and the community look at social services, particularly for teens and young adults.
As social service providers, we are facing new realities that demand new solutions for our clients — ones that we believe will help them get a toehold on a good life. These are rooted in our understanding of what works best with young people, what resources are still available, and what the community will stand behind.
When everything is changing in the community, from expectations to funding, it is important for organizations like Hale Kipa to find ways of adapting so our youth get the help they need. For us, that adaptation has taken a greater focus on academic and vocational education, so our youth can benefit from the skills we teach them and be sent off into adulthood on a healthier trajectory.
In 2013, Hale Kipa will be expanding its focus on academic and vocational education with a specific independent living skills curriculum and career planning tools to assess more youth. Various forms of alternative education also are being evaluated, since most of the youth we work with are at tremendous risk for homelessness. Without the education, skills and training needed to get a good job, they are doomed to minimum-wage jobs or unemployment.
We must secure a place in society for the so-called “opportunity youth,” the population of 16- to 24-year-olds who are neither in school nor employed. Depending on estimates used, 20 to 25 percent of Hawaii’s youth are at risk of dropping out of school. For older youth, 28 percent of 16- to 19-year-olds and 14 percent of 20- to 24-year-olds are neither employed nor enrolled in school. When they fail in school or in the workplace, we all lose.
That’s the key finding of a report by the Hawaii Community Foundation, entitled “Analysis of the Fiscal Resources Supporting At-Risk Youth, Ages 13-24, in Hawaii.” The estimated cost, such as lost wages, for just one year of dropouts (2008) is $1.4 billion.
One way to keep youth moving forward is to offer competency-based education, which is based on competency and proficiency, not grade level. Essentially, when the students master the body of material that is necessary to move to the next body of material, they move on. When they finish mastering the requisite body of material that allows them to graduate, they do.
Several alternative models of education are being explored that may be more appropriate for this population, and are beginning to offer remedial training for youth in some programs.
We are also embracing “Wraparound Services” — putting the youth at the center, and filling in the picture with all the agencies that can provide for the youth’s needs. In this spirit, relationships are being built with other providers of alternative education in order to ensure our youth have access to all available solutions.
One thing is certain: The winds of social and public policy have changed dramatically and technologies have shifted. But the need to prepare young people for life after youth services hasn’t gone away. Skills that are normally passed on in intact families are often lacking in our youth, and if our programs don’t succeed in moderating their behavioral and emotional issues, they are at risk to be unsuccessful as young adults.
It is critical that we, along with other social service providers, understand the human service needs of our clients, not just their lack of life skills. Otherwise, we are much more likely to end up providing other kinds of services to them: criminal, judicial and correctional.
We look ahead to the coming year with optimism that we can provide the best array of services to help young people through the most difficult times in their lives. Dealing with at-risk adolescents, we will struggle for adequate resources in lean times, but the conscience of the community in regard to youth services must be maintained.
Thursday, February 14th, 2013
Hale Kipa, Inc. is proud to announce that Zachary McNish has joined its board for 2012-2013.
McNish has served as legal counsel for solar installation company RevoluSun since October 2012. He formerly worked as an associate attorney for Honolulu law firm Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing, as well as associate corporate counsel for solar products company Hoku Scientific, Inc.
McNish currently serves as a member of the Community Council on the Purchase of Health and Human Services; and has also served as the program coordinator for nonprofit organization Native Future Inc.; the co-chair of the Duke University Public Interest Law Foundation; and as a volunteer with the U.S. Peace Corps in Panama.
Born and raised on Maui, McNish holds a law degree and master’s degree from Duke University, and a bachelor’s degree from Williams College in Massachusetts.
Thursday, February 14th, 2013
Hale Kipa, Inc. is proud to announce several recent monetary awards and grants in support of its programs:
- The Hau‘oli Mau Loa Foundation has awarded a $408,750 grant to support ongoing operations and provide additional capacity for at-risk youth.
- The Bretzlaff Foundation has awarded $10,000; the National Football League 2013 Pro Bowl has awarded $4,000; and the Hawaii Hotel Industry Foundation and the Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association has awarded $2,000 for operations of the Haloa Transitional House, a residence under Hale Kipa’s Independent Living Program.
- Yahweh’s House for Children has awarded $3,500 for operations of Hale Kipa’s Youth Outreach (YO!) program, which provides services to runaway and homeless youth.
- The Awesome Foundation Oahu has awarded $1,000 for Hale Kipa’s new Emergency Shelter Vegetable-Assisted Therapy program.
- The Chung Kun Ai Foundation has awarded $1,000 to support ongoing operations and provide additional capacity for at-risk youth.
- The Servco Foundation’s Aloha United Way designation has awarded $2,000 to support ongoing operations and provide additional capacity for at-risk youth.
Wednesday, January 30th, 2013
Awesome Foundation Oahu is thrilled to be a part of this endeavor! Joyce McCarthy and Donna Ambrose presented a check to Erin Loredo and Karen Thompson at Hale Kipa
Awesome Foundation Oahu is proud to announce that Hale Kipa and it’s Vegetable Assisted Therapy is the January $1000 grant winner!
This project will entail designing and building a large home garden at two shelters for youth (one for boys, one for girls) run by Hale Kipa youth services agency.
With a garden in their backyard, shelter youth will learn gardening basics (the UH College of Trop Ag will provide 6 free lessons on gardening!), how to provide proper plant nutrition, garden maintainance, how and when to pick the produce, food preparation and, of course, the appreciation of fresh produce and home grown goodness from the garden. Nutrition and cooking basics will round out the garden-based curriculum.
Our hope is that the care and feeding of fruits, vegetables, and herbs will not only provide a fun way to learn about good health but, importantly, will provide a place and activity for youth to heal. Think of this as the vegetable version of animal-assisted therapy!
Read more about the project here
Friday, January 18th, 2013
Our very own Michelle Niitani, Administrative Assistant for our Foster Care program, spreading the holiday cheer
Our foster parents are an invaluable part of Hale Kipa, helping dozens of Hawaii youth each year.
To show our appreciation, all foster families are invited to attend our annual Foster Parent Appreciation Christmas Party!
Mahalo to all who attended our appreciation party in their honor. To view pictures of the party, click here.
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