In February 2017, Agents of Change brought in two guest speakers -- -- a Housing First/Outreach Supervisor with Kalihi-Palama Health Center (www.kphc.org) and the current director of Family Promise of Hawaii (www.familypromisehawaii.org). Following brief presentations, the room was opened for discussion and together, we learned a great deal. Some of the highlights included the following:
It can take years to develop relationships with homeless individuals to help connect them with services. Outreach workers appreciate having items people want (e.g., bandages, rubber slippers, fleece blankets) to initiate conversations. Individuals are provided with service cards that include a list of phone number and services available to assist people.
Family Promise of Hawaii has a 96% success rate when it comes to securing permanent housing for families who go through the program! They serve 450 families at a time, providing them with temporary housing, food, support (such as access to computers) and training (including how to be a good tenant, how to get a job, financial literacy). Family promise always needs volunteers to assist with meals, sleep-overs; items to help a family move into a new home (e.g., dishes, silverware, towels, cleaning supplies); leads on available housing in the $900-$1500/month range as well as jobs that pay enough to self-sustain; funding for program administration; and host sites (e.g., churches, schools, other locations).