Hale Kipa held a grand opening ceremony for its new multi-purpose Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Hale Kipa Youth Services Center in West Oahu on March 12. Staff, community members, legislators and other invited guests celebrated with a formal blessing, donor and partner recognition, and tour.
Located on 4.28 acres along Old Fort Weaver Road in Ewa, Hale Kipa formally broke ground on the center in December 2018. It will serve as the agency’s headquarters and consolidate many programs and operations to improve services, reduce costs and build a sense of place in West Oahu. Efforts began in 2006 to find a permanent home for Hale Kipa, which has operated out of multiple locations since its founding in 1970.
“Opening in our 50th year, this center allows us to fully realize our mission of providing community-based support and services to those we are privileged to serve – Hawaii’s at-risk youth, young adults, and their families,” said Punky Pletan-Cross, CEO of Hale Kipa. “This effort dovetails with our rebranding, including a new logo, look and feel, which will help us better communicate our core values. We share our most heartfelt gratitude with those who have helped position Hale Kipa for an even stronger 50 years to come.”
The center consists of an 8,432-square-foot main service center and two 2,759-square-foot emergency shelters for youth designed by Next Design LLC and built by Honolulu Builders. Construction was managed by Avalon Development. About 75 of Hale Kipa’s more than 150 total staff will be located at the center. Hale Kipa will continue operations in several existing locations on Oahu, and in offices on the Island of Hawaii and Kauai, to best serve local communities.
“West Oahu is home to nearly half of the youth served by Hale Kipa, making this new center an essential part of the organization’s efficient service model,” said Chris Benjamin, Hale Kipa’s Capital Campaign Committee Chair. “We are grateful for the remarkable support Hale Kipa has received from our communities.”
Through the generous support of individual donors, businesses and organizations, as well as the State of Hawaii, Hale Kipa raised nearly $12 million to build the center. The consolidation of many services into one location is projected to generate annual operating cost savings of at least $100,000.
Today Hale Kipa also unveiled a new logo, which provides a deeper connection to the new headquarters. The spiral form represents the piko (loosely translated to the center and lifeline) to Hawaii’s at-risk youth. The spiral is overlaid on a kalo leaf in recognition of Ewa, an area with a rich history of taro farming. The blue hues symbolize loyalty, strength, wisdom, faith and trust.
“The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Hale Kipa Youth Services Center is the new piko of our agency,” said Scott Seu, who has served as the chair of Hale Kipa’s board since 2017. “This is the culmination of 14 years of work, reflecting our vision for the future.”