Hale Kipa, a state-wide nonprofit youth services organization, achieved a decade-long goal today.
Kahu Kaleo Patterson gave a blessing at the ground breaking ceremony for the Hale Kipa Weinberg Campus on Old Fort Weaver Road in Ewa. Hale Kipa serves 2-thousand at-risk youth and their families each year, operating up to 19 shelters state-wide. Punky Pletan Cross is the CEO.
“The youth and families that we’re privileged to serve, they face tremendous odds. Shattered families, much trauma in their lives and we’ll walk with them as they take steps to try to make changes and come back to the community, if they’re homeless or to be part of the community and to learn skills so that they can support themselves and their families.”
The Honolulu Police Department has been a partner since 1970. HPD Major J. Pedro is commander of the community affairs division which includes juvenile services.
“When we take a juvenile into custody, we can only hold them for 6 hours. If the parent can ot pick them up in that time, we have a contract with Hale Kipa where they will take custody of the child ‘til the parents can come or somebody can get notified to pick the child up from them.”
But, raising the money to build the 11.6 million dollar facility was tough because the work of Hale Kipa with minor-aged youth is confidential. Chris Benjamin, president and CEO of Alexander and Baldwin, served as capital campaign chair for 12 years.
“What we needed to do was we needed to tap into the corporate and foundation groups who really believed in the mission of Hale Kipa and were willing to write big checks. And, the amazing thing about Hawai’i is how many of those groups there are and the support has been tremendous.”
The 4.26 acre campus will include residential shelters, a service center, multipurpose education building and will also serve as the nonprofit’s headquarters. Honolulu Builders won the bid but worked with Avalon Development and the Hale Kipa Board of Trustees to cut material costs by more than 1-million dollars. Home Builders principle, Dan Jordan, says it’s more than a construction project.
“There’s a lot of meaning behind this. There’s a lot of people who have dedicated – quite honestly – their lives, their working lives towards this mission and we’re just glad that we were able to help them along the way.”
The consolidation of programs and services will save Hale Kipa at least 100-thousand dollars in annual operating costs but CEO Pletan Cross says the new facilities will provide a place for youth and families to heal.
“We’ll celebrate our 50th anniversary in January of 2020 and that’ll be within six months of when we hope to move in here. So it’s an important moment for this organization.”
For HPR News, I’m Wayne Yoshioka.