Community Connection: Peanut Butter Ministry

Community Connection: Peanut Butter Ministry

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Do you remember where you were and what you were doing in 1978? George Ariyoshi was Governor and Frank Fasi was the Mayor of Honolulu. On a hot summer day that year, one man was so moved by the need of his fellow citizens that sat in a storefront in Chinatown, and invited those passing by in for a hot cup of coffee and a peanut butter sandwich.

IHS services begin when individuals and families enter the doors at one of our two service centers (single women and families with children enter at Kaaahi and single men enter at Sumner). Our guests could be a person simply looking for a hot meal (which we serve three times daily, seven days a week, 365 days a year) or a place to take a hot shower. Or, they could be a person or family in crisis who has nowhere to turn for a safe place to sleep and support.

Often, our guests have had life events (e.g., trauma or domestic violence; mental or physical illness; eviction related to a new landlord) or made choices (substance abuse; criminal convictions) that caused them to lose everything they possessed, and destroyed their circles of supportive relationships.

IHS remains the only 24-hour walk-in, emergency shelter on Oahu and continues to provide a full range of services to men, women, and families with children who are homeless or are in danger of becoming homeless. The agency operates two facilities in Honolulu. The Sumner Service Center, located at 350 Sumner Street, is capable of housing up to 200 men each night, while the Kaaahi Service Center, located at 546 Ka'aahi Street, serves up to 100 single women in addition to 23-27 families, which can include as many as 60 children. The agency strives to be ADA compliant and makes reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities.

In 2014, IHS provided services to over 5,000 individuals in our community. In addition we provided a safe place to sleep, eat, and shower for 1,429 unduplicated individual. We helped stabilize housing to 1,423 individuals , 482 homeless individuals moved into stable housing and assisted 698 persons at-risk for homelessness to maintain stable housing. Additionally, we served 276,609 meals to shelter guests and other community individuals in need.

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