Empowering Mothers at the Mary Jane Home

“How do you teach someone to trust when they’ve never (felt that they) had anyone worthy of their trust? You immerse them in a nurturing environment.” – Jennie Heleski, program director of the Mary Jane Program. Jennie Heleski has been with Catholic Charities Hawai‘i for 17 years. In the last five, she has served as the program director of the …

A New Life Through Horizons

“You’re always one decision away from a totally different life.” — Mark Batterson As a young adult, Emma* made the decision to move back home to Hawaii to have a fresh start. She had been living in Kansas after “aging out” of foster care for many years and was dealing with a lot of emotional and physical distress. Though a …

Providing Transportation for Our Kūpuna

In the 1950s very few things were as iconic in Hawaii than the SS Lurline. The luxury liner brought visitors across the Pacific Ocean from California to Honolulu. Jane remembers it well. “It was so exciting to see the ships come in. People greeted the passengers, they threw coins,” 82 year-old Jane fondly recalls. Today it is another form of …

Shining the Spotlight on CCH Division Administrator Jillian Okamoto

Okamoto is a division administrator at Catholic Charities Hawai‘i and currently oversees its Housing Assistance and Referral Programs which helps over 8,000 people in crisis a year. The staff provides information about and/or referrals to services that are and are not provided by Catholic Charities Hawai‘i. The programs also provide: emergency or housing related financial assistance to homeless or at-risk …

Disaster Relief for the Barcco Family

It’s been a difficult last seven months for the family who has moved to their own property in Orchidland and have been staying in a tent. With no running water or electricity, they are catching rain water to bathe and wash dishes. And though they were able to save some of their belongings, they have the continuous responsibility of keeping …

A New Life for Summer

At a recent Rotary Club of Honolulu meeting, Terry Walsh, Catholic Charities Hawai‘i (CCH) President & CEO, met a young woman named Taylen. She had received an award for an anti-bullying video she had created at school. Taylen shared that her family had recently been homeless and Catholic Charities had helped her family find a home. She thanked Terry and …

Faufata Family shares love and guidance with youth in foster care

It has been nearly 20 years since Blossom Faufata and her husband became licensed therapeutic foster parents for Catholic Charities Hawai‘i. Providing a home for a child in need was natural in many ways for the Faufatas, who were already committed to improving their community, raising their children with high moral standards and living the ideals of their Christian faith. …

Government Agency Referrals programs

Sarmiento Family has “a lot of love to give” to infants and toddlers with unique physical and emotional needs

For nearly 10 years, Sonya Sarmiento and her husband Michael have been foster parents through Catholic Charities Hawai‘i’s Hale Mālama program, which provides professional foster homes for infants and toddlers with unique physical and emotional needs. Many of these children have complex medical problems due to prematurity, birth defects, non-accidental injuries, genetic disorders, or even abuse and/or neglect. For the …

Mary Jane Home unplanned pregnancy program

Expectant mother immigrates to Hawai‘i for better opportunities

An immigrant from the Philippines, Renee moved to Hawai‘i after leaving an abusive relationship. She was on a path to a new start with a new fiancé and a baby on the way. Unfortunately, complex circumstances led to the incarceration of her fiancé. Suddenly, Renee found herself alone and uncertain of her future. She reached out to our Mary Jane …

Supportive Services for Veteran Families Success Story: Carl and Priscilla

Starting Over and Reunited As A Family

Carl and Priscilla had been together as a couple for 30 years. Life was good, they had a home together and both were employed. Priscilla’s daughter, Caroline, and grandson, Schuyler, lived with them and they were a comfortable family unit. That all came to a screeching halt four years ago when they were both laid off from their jobs due …