Hale Kipa, or “House of Friendliness,” is a multi-service, fully accredited 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency that specializes in working with at-risk youth and their families who often have nowhere else to turn. Hale Kipa has served more than 60,000 youth throughout Hawai‘i since its beginning in 1970 as a single shelter on O‘ahu. This includes working in partnership with public agencies and private organizations to provide residential, outreach, and foster care services at no cost. With programs that are flexible and responsive to changing needs, Hale Kipa supports youth involved in juvenile justice, behavioral health, education and child welfare. Program goals include stabilizing young people in crisis and helping youth and families build resiliency to experience success in their lives.
There are approximately 173 full-time and part-time employees at Hale Kipa. Each Hale Kipa program has licensing, contractual and accreditation standards that must be met. Employees go through an initial orientation, and some have been through much more extensive training. All receive regular and routine supervision.
To work in a Hale Kipa program that accepts placements from the State’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division, all individuals must go through an extensive credentialing process that includes a review of their educational background, verification of employment, a review of reference letters, criminal backgrounds and the child abuse and neglect screenings to assure that the staff working in our programs are not a risk to the youth and/or young adults that they supervise.
Unique characteristics of Hale Kipa which makes us especially qualified to perform our work include our long-standing expertise in the areas of outreach family counseling, emergency shelter, residential treatment, foster care and independent living, flexibility to individualize placement and services, strong and effective working partnerships and collaborations with other community agencies. Hale Kipa’s history speaks to a commitment to youth, willingness to partner, being a strong voice in the community, and leadership in the areas of youth. We are currently licensed as a child-placing agency by the Department of Human Services.
“Why we help,” is most fundamentally answered by the simple response, it’s the right thing to do because people are capable of change, because people have aptitude and potential, because people have strengths. Because in the end if we are not able to assist them in tapping into all of those positive aspects of who they are, then we are going to inevitably get, all the results of all the negative behaviors that come from their frustrations in dealing with a system, a society, an educational system, or a community who does not appreciate them for who they are and how they might contribute. That is a responsibility that I take very seriously and fortunately so do we at Hale Kipa.
We believe in the potential of those we are privileged to serve. We appreciate their willingness to engage with us in working through their most difficult and challenging problems. We appreciate their courage, their resiliency, their tenacity, their persistence in the face of obstacle after obstacle and challenge after challenge.
Shattered families, substance abuse, domestic violence, sexual abuse, and abject poverty are the norm for too many of those Hale Kipa serves. And we have a duty, a responsibility, a commitment to attempt to do whatever we can to give them the very best opportunity that we can to be able to tap into their strengths, actualize their potential and become active participants in society, contributing in meaningful ways.
Not only by supporting themselves and their families, but by being active citizens and paying it forward, sharing with others that there are opportunities, there is hope, there is a basis for optimism — that someone cares. That through hard work and persistence you can change your life and make a difference. That is why we help.
Hale Kipa provides opportunities and environments that strengthen and encourage youth, their families and communities to actualize their potential and social responsibility.