Honolulu Field Office Newsletter
Special Edition: June 2001

Na Hana Ku Aloha
´┐ŻAchieving Through the Spirit of Aloha´┐Ż

Volume 3 Issue 3

Hawaii's 2001 Best Practices Recognized

This Special Edition of Na Hana Ku Aloha showcases the programs and projects nominated for HUD's 2001 Best Practices. We are delighted to share these local initiatives with you.

City and County of Honolulu - Continuum of Care

In 1996, the City and County of Honolulu with a small group of service provider agencies began a collaboration to develop a plan for homeless persons. The group operated with no funding and little outside support. The model that they created is the foundation of the City’s Continuum of Care and the basis of a broader document entitled "Partners in Care".

In February 2000, Partners in Care was awarded a $10,000 grant from the Hawaii Community Foundation. With the grant, they hired a facilitator and produced a three-year plan entitled "A Plan to Solve Homelessness in the City and County of Honolulu". The plan establishes a comprehensive and systematic approach to addressing homelessness. It provides expected outcomes and time frames for implementation of the plan.
Contact: Partners in Care (http://www.vlsh.org/PartnersInCare)

City and County of Honolulu - Youthbuild Program

The nature of the Youthbuild program is that all of the participants are school dropouts. Many are former substance abusers and gang members. Some are currently on probation or parole. Most have experienced considerable poverty in their lives.

The City and County’s Youthbuild program combines education, leadership development, vocational skills, on-the-job construction training and supportive services. The staff operate a structured but not rigid classroom enforcing attendance and drug testing. However, the program stresses flexibility and staff work individually with participants to provide specific educational needs, counseling and after-hours guidance. In its first six months, the program has achieved a 77% success rate.
Contact: Ernie Martin (emartin@co.honolulu.hi.us), Department of Community Services, 527-5860

County of Hawaii - Care-A-Van Project

Beginning in the 1980’s the island of Hawaii began to experience a large homeless population. Shelters were set up but eventually it became apparent that the shelters were serving only 1% of the island’s homeless population. It was determined that a new method to reach the homeless population was needed.

The Office for Social Ministry established a program that would take services to the homeless instead of waiting for the homeless to come to shelters. The CAV is a mobile outreach program with staff that travels to homeless families and individuals living on remote beaches, in the woods and in town. They use a four-wheel drive vehicle that allows access to very remote spots. The service team consists of outreach workers, mental health workers and nurses. Services are provided to the entire island.
Contact: Carol R. Ignacio (cignacio@rcchawaii.org), (808) 935-3050

County of Hawaii - Hualalai Elderly Housing

West Hawaii lacks affordable housing for very low-income elderly residents. The Hawaii Island Community Development Corporation collaborated with the State of Hawaii’s Housing and Community Development Corporation of Hawaii, the County of Hawaii and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development to meet this need.

Through collaborative efforts, the County of Hawaii’s Office of Housing & Community Development developed a 30 unit elderly rental project. The results are a truly affordable housing project where the tenants pay 30 percent of their income for housing costs, including basic utilities. The critical factors that allowed the program to materialize were the willingness of various agencies to work together. The programs that were utilized in tandem included the HOME program, the USDA RD515/521 program, the LITC program and loans from the Rental Housing Trust Fund and the Rental Assistance Revolving Fund.
Contact: Keith Kato, (808) 969-1158

County of Hawaii - Mobile Care Health Project

The Office of Social Ministry on the island of Hawaii recognized that rural low-income residents, especially the homeless and uninsured/underinsured, were not receiving the dental and medical services they needed.

The Ministry created the Mobile Care Health Project and literally put it on the road. They purchased two Winnebago vans and outfitted them with dental and medical facilities. The vans are self-contained and can operate on generator power or plug into electricity at the different sites. The vans alternate among nine county parks and offer services to those in need. They are staffed by stipend dentists and volunteer dentists who are assisted by drivers, dental assistants, a Physician’s Assistant and volunteers who act as language translators, intake information and medical education assistants.
Contact: Carol R. Ignacio (cignacio@rcchawaii.org), (808) 935-3050, ext. 105

County of Hawaii - Outstanding Program Management

Recent revisions to the Community Development Block Grant for Small Cities regulations required the County to adjust its accounting systems from a grant by grant system to a first-in/first-out system. At the same time, they began utilizing an Integrated Disbursement and Information System.

The county was able to effectively implement these new systems and has set up a consistent fiscal process which allows them to effectively administer all of its federal grants. In recognition of the County’s outstanding management of its programs, other Small Cities grantees have requested technical assistance from the Hawaii County staff to set up similar systems.
Contact: Edwin Taira, (808) 961-8379

County of Hawaii - Reclamation of Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park on the island of Hawaii was known as a haven for drug users, alcohol abusers and homeless persons. There were frequent arrests at the park for drug related offenses. The general public refrained from using the park because of the activities happening there.

The County of Hawaii, Department of Parks and Recreation determined that they needed to take some action to reclaim the park for family use. The park was fenced and gated to keep it free of drug/alcohol related activities after hours and a police sub-station was added to the park pavilion. To make the park easier to use, picnic tables were added and a children’s playground was made more visible. Drug activity in the park has diminished dramatically and the park is now more frequently used by families with young children.
Contact: Patricia Engelhard (cohparks@interpac.net), (808) 961-8311

Haleiwa Main Street - Waialua Courthouse Restoration

The Waialua Court House had been abandoned for several years when the Haleiwa Main Street association began to look for funding to restore the structure and a tenant that would add a new dimension to the community.

The Court House restoration was completed in 1997. During the restoration process, Haleiwa Main Street determined that they would like to have a tenant which could provide unique services to the community. Services that were not currently available in Haleiwa. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs agreed to lease the building, provide space to service organizations and share the conference room for community meetings and functions. The community gained a renewed building, a new partner and services not previously available within the community.
Contact: Antya Miller, (808) 638-8462

Hui Mea'ai - Kauai Food Bank, Inc.

The Kauai Food Bank feeds about 10% of the total population of Kauai each month. The challenge was to cure hunger beyond a simple meal or two and make Kauai more "food secure".

The solution is that Kauai Food Bank teaches people how to grow their own food and then buys the Grade A produce for resale to hotels, resorts and grocers. Not only do people learn to provide food for themselves, but they can provide cash income for their families. The Hui Mea’ai program not only addresses hunger at the local level, it builds true partnerships with the business community, hotels, restaurants and the food industry. Greater amounts of fresh nutritious foods are available within the community and self-sufficiency and pride have taken the place of hunger.
Contact: Judy Lenthall (food@hawaiian.net) (808) 246-3809

Ko'olau Loa Strategic Community Matrix - Kahuku 200

In 1971 the Kahuku Sugar Plantation closed. The plantation had been the economic base for the region of Ko’olau Loa. The eight communities in the area became disconnected and drifted away from the sense of reliance and trust that had previously bound the communities together.

With collaboration among the Queen Emma Foundation, the City and County of Honolulu and the Hawaii Alliance for Community Based Economic Development, Kahuku 200 prepared a matrix that allows users to identify priorities and assets within the district. It also allows the communities to use comprehensive strategies, program and partners to complete projects effectively.
Contact: Ralph Makaiau (ralph_makaiau@hilton.com), (808) 293-6019

Kukui Tower Art Education Classes - Kukui Kauhale, Inc.

The focus of the project was to find an after-school program for the children residing at Kukui Tower. Many of the children are from immigrant families whose parents work low-paying jobs with odd hours and are thus unable to provide supervision for the children after normal school hours. The challenge was to find a program that would capture the interest of the children as well as be educational.

A survey was conducted to discover what types of programs and services the residents desired. There was an overwhelming interest in an arts program. After working with several community groups, a grant was obtained from the Hawaii Community Foundation for $3,400. With this money a teacher was hired and classes started. Classes are held twice a week for 1½ hours. Within a week of posting the notice for the classes, 21 children had registered. The goal is to have a 90% attendance rate and retain 90% of the students.
Contact: Grace Chang (kukuissc@lava.net) (808) 550-4905.

Marketing HUD Properties on Oahu - Abe Lee Realty

Abe Lee Realty is the Broad Listing Broker for HUD properties on Oahu. They had two challenges. First, they needed to encourage real estate brokers to register with them before being able to make offers on HUD properties, and second, to encourage agents to show HUD listings.

They addressed these issues using a series of seminars, continuing education classes and e-mail contacts. Seminar subjects include how to write a proper contract, how to avoid common mistakes, how to bid online, and how to gather information from the www.hudpemco.com website. A subsidiary company, Abe Lee Seminars, provides continuing education classes which include information on the HUD foreclosure process. Finally, Abe Lee Realty keeps in close contact with brokers and gives them weekly status updates on HUD properties via the Multiple Listing e-mail broadcast program.
Contact: Abe Lee (abelee@hawaii.rr.com) (808) 988-3751

Novaland Learning Center/NOVA Sunset Apartments - Nova Community Foundation

Students at the Sunset Villas apartment community had little educational influence. The majority of the parents are not formally educated. The students were without direction for their educational future. In addition, the students lacked a sense of community and a place where they could get involved.

In July 1999, the Nova Community Foundation opened an after-school program called the Novaland Learning Center. The students receive help with homework, benefit from a monthly educational theme such as government or technology, explore the business world, delve into current events, spend time in Grade Level Expectancy exercises, and take monthly educational field trips. 82% of all school age children living in Nova Sunset Apartments are now enrolled in the learning center.
Contact: Kevin DeAllen (KevinD@novaland.org) (949) 222-9010

Safe Haven - Mental Health Kokua

The problem faced by the Safe Haven project was how to house and rehabilitate severely mentally ill adults who have been previously living on the streets or in emergency shelters.

Safe Haven has created several programs to address these needs. These include outreach and case management, a medical clinic with 24 hour on-call services, a residential care home with 24 hour staffing. They also provide an activity center for residents and outreach to clients and alumni. In addition to the residential care home, they provide short-term housing to outreach clients. Not only do they provide residential stability, they also furnish meals and plan activities for clients. In the past five years they have served 102 people living on the streets, as well as 3,700 walk-in clients.
Contact: Joanne Lundstrom (jlundstrum@mentalhelphawaii.org), (808) 737-2523

Saipan Beach Pathway Project - Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

A number of pedestrian traffic fatalities were occurring on a major thoroughfare called the Beach Road. The thoroughfare connects three densely populated areas and serves as Saipan’s major highway connection. In order to reduce these fatalities, the community constructed a pathway and recreation park to reduce the number of times pedestrians and vehicles traversed the same thoroughfare.

The intent of the project was to provide a safe recreational area for the community that was both environmentally friendly and accessible to all segments of the community. Since completion of the Pathway, traffic has slowed , more people are walking, and no major vehicular accidents or fatalities have occurred.
Contact: Jean Aldan, (670) 234-7689

The Harry & Jeannette Weinberg Hale Kuha'o - Independent Living Waipahu, Inc. (ILW)

There is an absence of affordable, accessible housing options for persons with significant physical disabilities. This prevents individuals from being integrated into the community.

To address this situation, ILW built low-income technology-enhanced multifamily housing that offers independent living options to persons with significant disabilities. By collaborating with private foundations as well as the State of Hawaii, ILW was able to develop an innovative prototype housing for the disabled that can be replicated elsewhere.
Contact: Elaine Shinagawa (ilwaipahu@yahoo.com) (808) 537-2609

Waimanalo Construction Coalition - Commercial Drivers License Training/Computer Classes

The project focused on training unemployed and under employed Native Hawaiians. Job training included teaching "life skills" to enhance job opportunities. A large part of the project was to encourage students to strive to create their own destiny by encouraging small business start-ups.

Waimanalo Construction Coalition in collaboration with Alu Like and Leeward Community College provides free training to Native Hawaiians to help them obtain a commercial drivers license and develop computer skills. After completing a 6 week course, Waimanalo Construction Coalition helps to set up job referrals. They continue to assist graduates through monthly contact and continued assistance when needed.
Contact: Andrew Jamila (ajamila@gte.net) (808) 259-7342

For further information on HUD's Best Practices, please contact Lynn Lee (Lynn_J._Lee@hud.gov) by e-mail or telephone at 522-8175, ext. 239.

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Content Archived: December 19, 2011