As Hawai‘i continues to cope with the economic, social, and public health effects of the pandemic, many in our community are finding it more difficult to hold on to a safe and affordable place to call home. The Weinberg Foundation is committed to taking a collaborative approach with nonprofit service providers, community members, the private sector, local governments, and philanthropy to drive conversations and solutions to ensure everyone has access to safe shelter. Marisa Hayase, Program Director – Hawai‘i and Xan Avendaño, Program Associate – Hawai‘i, participated in recent panel discussions at the 2020 Statewide Homeless Awareness Virtual Conference, and Xan also shared his insights during a Talk Story session with Scott Morishige, Governor Ige’s Coordinator on Homelessness.
Talk story with Xan Avendaño and Scott Morishige
Xan Avendaño, Program Associate – Hawai‘i Office for the Weinberg Foundation, recently joined Scott Morishige, Governor Ige’s Coordinator on Homelessness to talk about the Foundation’s approach to housing and homelessness grantmaking. Xan shared a look back at the Foundation’s history of investment and today’s increased investment in Hawai‘i, as well as the collaborative approach it’s taking to support community-led and community-driven solutions. Click here to watch the entire talk story.
Collaborating during COVID-19
Xan Avendaño moderated a panel at the 2020 Statewide Homeless Awareness Virtual Conference to share recent examples of effective collaboration in our communities. The discussion, which included participants from the Hawai‘i and Kaua‘i County Mayors’ offices, Catholic Charities, Hope Services Hawai‘i, and Hale Opio Kaua‘i, explored how existing relationships created the foundation to respond quickly to deploy resources and services to those in need.
In Part II of the panel discussion, Marisa shared ways the community came together to support a community disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. She joined representatives from the City and County of Honolulu, Office of Economic Revitalization, Kamehameha Schools, We Are Oceania, and One Shared Future. Click here to view the full panel discussions.
Collective efforts to address youth homelessness
The Weinberg Foundation has approved $400,000 in grants to support a range of organizations implementing the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP), a two-year $3.8 million initiative funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to address youth homelessness on O‘ahu.
Intended to support Oʻahu’s nonprofits in implementing programs designed by young people, the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program encourages a collective approach to supporting youth disconnected from opportunity. Over 200 youth across the island will build trust with people and systems that will support them in developing individualized pathways to housing and stability.
The Weinberg Foundation is supporting a range of partners implementing YHDP, which is being led by Residential Youth Services & Empowerment (RYSE) and Hale Kipa in partnership with Hawai‘i Health & Harm Reduction Center, EPIC Ohana, ALEA Bridge, Waikiki Health, We Are Oceania, and more. The supplemental flexible grant funding will allow the partner organizations to increase capacity to support more young people.