During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Hale Kipa has steadfastly provided services to the youth and families in each of its programs. The work ranged from admitting youth into Emergency Shelter and Transitional Family Homes, seeing youth/young adults in the community and learning to provide effective telehealth and telephonic sessions. Many of our program participants endured financial hardships causing food and housing insecurity. But we were fortunate to be granted funding to respond to our youth and family Covid-19 related needs which included food, rent, utilities and distance learning that allowed the youth to avoid homelessness and continue to meet educational goals. In the early days of this pandemic, Hale Kipa was selected to be Lili‘uokalani Trust’s anchor partner for their Youth Services Center (YSC) initiative. We were just starting the partnership planning program development when the Lili‘uokalani Trust decided to respond to the pandemic’s effect on Native Hawaiians by temporarily repurposing the facility to be able to offer transitional housing to young adults and families affected by Covid-19. This aligned with Hale Kipa’s desire to do more for our young adults, many of whom were at risk of or experiencing homelessness. Within six weeks and because of the amazing work done by teams of people and with numerous generous donations, Lydia’s House was able to open 16 of its 18 apartments to welcome over 40 Native Hawaiian individuals, couples, pregnant and parenting young adults, and some older adults with their own children or grandchildren. This was a true blessing for all of these people who were in crisis and needed safe and secure housing to stabilize, find respite, and access a range of opportunities to get assistance to improve financial literacy, parenting skills, find employment, continue their higher education, make new connections and linkages, increase permanency, and be able to secure more permanent housing by the end of this year. Lydia’s House truly is a partnership as well as a demonstration of what can happen when organizations work together to pivot to respond to an emerging need.
August 21, 2020