In partnership with Job Corps, MPD launches new program to help at-risk youth
MAKAWAO (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Maui Police Department is partnering with Hawaii Job Corps Center to help at-risk teens and young adults.
“We really want to inspire the youth to be the best that they can be and to just live to their fullest potential regardless of any circumstances,” said MPD C.O.R.E. counselor Krissy Kahuhu.
MPD officials say Project L.I.Y.T. (Live In Your Truth) is also a play on words to connect with today’s youth.
“I was not like what I expected,” said Nicholas James, a culinary student at Hawaii Job Corps Center on Maui. “Kind of got my heart like beating faster. But it was pretty fun. I got to do things I’ve never done before.”
The potentially life-changing program is for those between the ages of 14 and 24 who may be homeless, dealing with mental illness, substance abuse, or at risk.
They are challenged with various activities, including interactive workshops and community service, to create connections with like-minded peers and professionals.
“I hope that they learn positive life skills that are going to really help them adjust into that transition into employment, into that transition into their higher education,” said Hawaii Job Corps Center Maui Site Director Marshall Norman. “Also, to help them become grounded individuals so they can continue to really think about their health in positive ways so they can continue to be lifelong learners that they’ve set out to be.”
MPD officials say Project L.I.Y.T. was launched in response to ACT 130, a pilot program under the state Department of Human Services that establish safe spaces for Hawaii’s homeless youth.
It was signed into law last year.
“Kids can be who are dealing with anything if they need a safe place to go, any time of the day for services, whether it’s something small like just a place to be for the night, or deeper services like counseling, medical, food, whatever it may be, this is something that they can go to,” Kahuhu said.
MPD officials say they also hope this may inspire these young individuals to become police officers in the future.
For more information or to participate in the program, email CORE@mpd.net.
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