carIng for our keIkI

Fall 2010
Newsletter of The Institute for Human Services
Caring for our keiki
An incredibly diverse group of families and individuals come through our doors at
IHS. Young and old, locals and migrants from other states and countries, those who
are ill and those who are healthy. But, some of the most touching faces that we see,
are those of our keiki who temporarily call IHS home. Many of our children come
from impoverished families, lacking the basic resources to develop into confident
and competent students. Many lack fluency with English skills, and typically, they
are struggling emotionally and academically in school. Our challenge is to create a
stable living environment - safe, comfortable, conducive to learning, equipped with
the necessary tools (like computers and school supplies) and surrounded by adults
who have a deep love and commitment to children while holding them accountable
and modeling appropriate social skills.
Above: 24 IHS keiki played, learned, and
IHS offers classes and growth experiences for shelter children ages 0-18. We are
discovered this summer through the pilot IHS
grateful for partnerships with Good Beginnings Alliance, who offers classes
Summer Fun Program.
for infant - preschool aged children along with their parents, as well as HCAP
HeadStart, who focuses on the preschool aged keiki and nurtures their early
learning. We offer a Homework Club five days a week enriched by our dedicated volunteers, and even a Teen Club for middle and
high school students.
This past June, IHS piloted a Summer Fun program that brought school age children together in a multifaceted experience. 24
of our keiki (including nine junior leaders) focused on environmental awareness and enjoyed gardening, paper making, trips to
botanical gardens and tide pools, and even scouted for plant life on hikes to waterfalls. A smashing success, Summer Fun helped
the children grow in leadership and cooperation with each other. The children shared detailed reports with their parents at the
end of each day and one grateful mom commented through tears, “My daughter doesn’t even realize she’s homeless, thanks to IHS
and the wonderful programs you’ve created. Thank you.”
Our Summer Fun program ended after the two weeks, but the fun didn’t stop for our keiki. Generous and talented volunteers
continued to structure learning experiences of all kinds. Along with reading and math, the kids took part in ongoing activites
focused on environmental sustainability, navigated educational websites such as, created group collages and learned to
knit. Twice a week, the children at IHS scout around outside with volunteer leaders in a contest to see who can pick up the most
pieces of trash as part of the Litter Detective Program. The family room is home to a growing library, where the children can
choose a book to borrow and check it out to read during the times when the family room is closed.
A non-profit organization called Common Grace also began a ministry at IHS this summer. They are comprised of individuals
from various churches who come together once a week to mentor the children through supervised one-on-one time.
The children are reaping the benefits of the positive attention, and the volunteers are enjoying nurturing a relationship with a
child in need. Very soon, we will also be blessed with another partnership, this one with Pacific Music Foundation, as they have
volunteered to teach some of our children how to play the ukulele once a week here at the shelter.
If you have a special skill to share or a little extra time to give, please consider volunteering with our children’s programs!
Visit or call 808-447-2842 for more details.
Importance of Home
by connie mitchell,
executive director
Hot summer days have been quite eventful and intense at IHS
this year. They included a first-ever Summer Fun program for
the children at the shelter, a Volunteer Recognition Picnic at
Ala Moana Beach Park, my attending the National Conference
on Ending Homelessness in Washington, D.C., mourning
the untimely loss of our Clinical Director John Sousa and
celebrating an incredible Founder’s Day volunteer event at
both of our shelters. These events, and many more, have been
physically exhausting. But, they have also inspired my passion further for IHS’s mission
of ending homelessness as they repeatedly remind me of the importance of a home.
Summer Fun offered an opportunity for me to work directly with the children as we
gathered each morning to sing and learn how to better care for our aina together. Seeing
their faces daily for two weeks underscored for me the urgent need to find new homes to
provide a sense of stability in their lives. But, so often, there is no home for some of their
families to be placed very quickly because Honolulu lacks affordable rentals, largely due
to shrinking affordable housing resources tied to neglected housing policy that did not plan
for replacing or maintaining what little inventory of low-income housing we have left here
in Hawaii.
The Homeless Conference was a great learning experience and also reminded me, session
after session, how all effective strategies to end homelessness seemed to begin with
“housing first.” A safe harbor, which most of us call home, offers the person or family that
is homeless a home base from which to receive and accept treatment and services.
Just before I left for the conference, I had outreached a homeless gentleman in a park in
Honolulu after work one day, in an effort to ensure a meeting with our housing specialist.
He had been homeless for nearly five years after being evicted from senior housing. He
had accumulated a few shopping carts full of his treasured belongings which he had spent
most of his time guarding. He now lives in an apartment as a result of our Shelter Plus
Care program with no more need for shopping carts.
When I returned from my trip and learned of Clinical Director John Sousa’s death, I was
devastated. But out of our grief and loss came some bright rays of grace. IHS staff met his
son, daughter and sister for the first time when they came from the Mainland to take John
back to California to be buried alongside his parents. We gathered for an informal time of
remembrance and shared how deeply John had touched our lives. John was a man of great
character and he often reminded all of us that our work with those who were homeless was
a justice issue that required our advocacy while also setting high expectations for those we
serve to empower themselves. We were blessed that John was a part of our ohana. John’s
family expressed appreciation knowing that John had been supported and cared for by the
IHS family as he had struggled with failing health. Despite their urging him to return to
California, he had felt “at home” among us here in Hawaii.
Finally, as I reflect on this year’s Founder’s Day celebration, I am deeply grateful for the
ways that so many groups and individuals came together to generously and creatively
continue Father Claude Du Teil’s legacy of serving those without homes by donating
time, talent and resources to the many projects we completed on that day. The volunteers
that participated helped make IHS a more welcoming temporary home (landscaping
both shelters), improved the shelter experience (freshening walls with new paint and
constructing partitions for the family dorm), expanded our efforts toward improved
nutrition for guests (urban farming including planting new fruits and vegetables in the
garden and replacing our neighbor’s landscaping with more edibles for a fresher corridor
into the Kaaahi neighborhood). All efforts to create a more comfortable and livable home
for a little while.
Safe and stable homes are essential for a healthy Honolulu community. Can we muster
enough political will among all of us in this community to ensure that decent housing
is made possible, affordable and a reality for every contributing member of our island
community? Join us on our website,, to learn more about sustainable
housing in Hawaii. It is the one thing that Hawaii must take action on NOW to ensure a
brighter future for our keiki.
Board of Directors
K. James Steiner, Jr., Esq., President
M.E. Reich, Vice President
Aileen Utterdyke, Treasurer
Kelli Abe Trifonovitch, Secretary
Edmund Aczon
Christopher Benjamin
Ann R. Botticelli
William G. Chung
Sharon Crofts
Dick Dubanoski
Ian Fitz-Patrick
Stacey C.G. Hee, Esq.
Audrey Hidano
Michael T. Jones
Violet Loo
Curt Nakamura
Bruce Nakaoka
Patsy Saiki, Esq.
Alvin Sakamoto
Frank B. Smith
Sean Tadaki
Lynne T Unemori
Scott Williams
Sylvia Yuen
The Rev. Msgr. Terrence Watanabe
Member Emeritus
Agency Directors
Executive Director, Connie Mitchell
Facilities, Gordon Ortiz
Finance, Gaylen Shintaku
Housing and Employment Program,
Minda Golez
Human Resources, Ruth Weerapan
Performance Mgmt., Sherry Chong
Ke Ala Kupono is published by IHS quarterly
for friends, supporters, guests & employees
of IHS. It is made possible through donations.
Please send comments & changes of
address to:
IHS Development Office
546 Kaaahi St., Honolulu, HI 98617
Tel: 447-2810 Fax: 845-7190
IHS strives to be ADA compliant and will
make reasonable accommodations for
people with disabilities.
Contributions to IHS are tax-deductible.
Generous hearts Ignite transformation
Above: Mei Lieu (center right) of CreaClip and three of her fellow hairstylists
generously donated their time to give free haircuts and hair cutting accessories to the
guests at IHS! Giving a man, woman, or child a free haircut is a great way to serve
our comunity and can make a huge difference in morale!
Left and right: IHS celebrated 32
years and counting this past August
through a day of service in memory of
our Founder, Fr. Claude Du Teil. Over
100 staff members, guests, volunteers,
and board members joined together in
transforming both shelters into a lush,
green urban farm accented with native
landscaping and edible plants. Left: IHS
Director Chris Benjamin volunteered
to help transform a garden bed with his
daughter, Natalie, on Founder’s Day
while Autumn Ingalls (right) plants
carrots and beets in the IHS garden.
Below: Brittney Mendoza, a recent graduate of Pearl City High School, teamed up
with her classmates and decided to put on a successful youth-run benefit concert
for IHS this past summer. Below right: The House-It Concert not only showcased
talented singers and youth bands, but also included a pre-show featuring Hawaiian
hula and Tahitian dancing.
Above: IHS’s LEAP program conducted
a Malama Aina Teen Fair at Kuhio Park
Terrace this summer, where children
and teens spent a day learning about
sustainability and created recycled
art using old crayons and egg cartons!
Over 50 youth from KPT attended the
event and walked away with shave ice
stained smiles and goodies to keep the
sustainability practices going! Pictured
above, keiki from KPT are amazed at
the homemade ‘solar oven’ project used
to melt old crayons!
Halloween Jam
Please join us on Saturday, October 30, 2010 at 7:30pm for a free
live concert by Momi Sui Lan Ho Mahon and pianist Arlene Chin
Sullivan at Christ Church Uniting Disciples and Presbyterians located
at 1300 Kailua Road. Momi will be offering her rendition of songs
from Rodger and Hammerstein’s “The King and I,” as well as some
jazz, Hawaiian, and classical numbers. The very talented Kumu Hula
Ardis Gomes will dance and you will also be delighted by a few other
special guests! The free concert will include an opportunity for guests
to make a donation. Towels and toiletries for the guests at IHS will
also be accepted, and refreshments will be served after the concert.
Pictured above: Momi Sui Lan Ho
golf with Beta Beta Gamma
Are you a golfer? Beta Beta Gamma Foundation has named
IHS as one of the recipients of proceeds from their 12th annual
Charity Golf Tournament! The tournament will take place on
October 7, 2010 with registration and refreshments starting at
10:30am and a shotgun start at noon. Don’t miss this fun event
at the Kapolei Golf Course! The cost is $150, $80 of which is
For more information and details on how to register, please visit See you on the greens!
Above: Don’t miss a great opportunity to refine
your golf swing AND help charities such as IHS!
The race is on to end homelessness!
Above: Over 300 runners and walkers alike
rounded the last corner to victory last year in the
first annual Homeward Bound race.
Grab your running or walking shoes and sign up to support
IHS through the SECOND annual Homeward Bound 5K Fun
Run/Walk, on December 19, 2010! Tama Fukuyama and Maya
Grossmann, juniors at Punahou High School, have once again
decided to put their heads and hearts together to organize this
5K event for IHS. Last year over 300 individuals signed up to
run in Manoa - can you help us double that number this year?
Bring along your family - kids under the age of 5 are free, and
children ages 6-12 are only $10! Check out
for more details and information on how to sign up. They’re also
looking for corporate/local sponsors for the event, so if you’re
interested, give us a call at 447-2811. All donations are 100%
IHS Inspires creative giVing from volunteer “Duet”
Left: Scott Nishimoto began volunteering at IHS two
years ago, and what he experienced while working
with the kids here really struck a chord in his heart.
Wanting to do something more to help those in
need, he and David Aquino teamed up to start Duet
Clothing, a line of t-shirts aimed at encouraging a
lifestyle promoting social good and taking positive
action. Scott and David committed to donating $5
from each t-shirt sold to IHS to combat homelessness,
and here, they present us with their first check of $300!
Mahalo, David and Scott, for your example of creative
philanthropy and generous hearts.
For information about where to purchase Duet
Clothing shirts and how they support IHS, visit them
on the web at
Grants Keep Us Moving Forward
Jean & William K. H. Mau Foundation awarded $15,000 for our Family Program
Pearl Harbor Submarine Officer’s Wives’ Club awarded $475 for our Family Program
Kosasa Foundation awarded $5,000 for General Operations
Bretzlaff Foundation awarded $10,000 for General Operations
Paul C. T. & Violet Shaw Loo Fund awarded $8,000 for General Operations
Friends of Hawaii Charities awarded $15,000 for our Family Program
Sophie Russell Testamentary Trust awarded $30,000 for our Family Program
Aloha United Way awarded $11,241 for Social Services
Aloha United Way awarded $1,858 for Emergency and Crisis Services
Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund awarded $5,000 for General Operations
Mahalo for your support!
How You Can Help Today
We always need these items:
Disposable razors
Shaving cream
Diapers, Baby wipes
Baby shampoo
Anti bacterial hand sanitizer
Paper products
Towels (used and new)
Rice and pasta
Canned meats
Fresh produce
Canned fruits and veggies
Our wishlist:
5-gallon buckets
Potting soil
Gardening tools
Pruning shears
Employment opportunities
Dental Services
Please ensure that your donations are in good, usable condition. Donations may be dropped off at
546 Kaaahi St between the hours of 8am and 4pm Monday-Friday.
Pl e a s e
consider I H S
W h e n Pl a n n i n g
Y o u r E stat e
Address Service Requested
546 Kaaahi Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96817
Non-Profit Org.
U.S. Postage
Honolulu, HI
Permit No. 1192
The Institute for Human Services, Inc.