Nonprofit launches new housing program for recovering addicts - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Nonprofit launches new housing program for recovering addicts

Neil Aquino Neil Aquino
Lyle Matsuura Lyle Matsuura
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Neil Aquino has come a long way. For the first time in nearly a decade, he's got a place of his own and is holding down two jobs, including working as a manager at Poke Stop.

Aquino, 40, was released from prison in July after doing an eight-year stint for selling meth. He's battled addiction since he was a teenager. 

"During that time in prison I was like you know what, I'm not getting any younger. It's about time I start pursuing something, start surrounding myself with positive people that are successful," Aquino said.

After his release from prison, Aquino enrolled in the Clean and Sober program at the Institute for Human Services. The program launched in October and so far has housed 12 people. It's got funding for dozens more.

Lyle Matsuura, a housing specialist at the Institute for Human Services, says the Clean and Sober program rewards those who take the initiative to kick their habit by providing first month's rent, security deposit and partial rent payments for up to three months.

"When you're trying to treat yourself and take care of your body and be healthy it's hard to maintain employment and hold down an apartment," Matsuura said. 

To qualify, participants must be in treatment and have an income. 

"They have to find a place on their own that is within their budget," Matsuura added.

Aquino said it's been hard to stay clean, but the IHS program made his recovery easier by helping ensure he had a roof over his head.

"The hardest part about it. Just following through you know," he said.

The Clean and Sober program is designed to help single people as well as families. For more information, call the Institute for Human Services at 447-2800.

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