Press Releases: Hawaii
April 5, 2012
Public-Private Partnership Creates New Playground and Launches Preschool at Kahikolu Ohana Hale O Waianae Shelter
Partnership between Kaiser Permanente Hawaii, City and County of Honolulu and HCAP Head Start supports physical activity as integral part of early education for keiki served by shelter
HONOLULU — Keiki and families were on hand today for the dedication of a new playground at Kahikolu Ohana Hale O Waianae Shelter for the homeless. Kaiser Permanente Hawaii donated a $10,000 grant to support the project, in partnership with Honolulu Community Action Program Head Start and the City and County of Honolulu. With the playground in place, HCAP Head Start, a federally funded program providing quality services to low-income preschoolers and their families, was able to leverage federal funding to operate a preschool at the shelter. Access to a playground is a Department of Human Services Child Care licensing requirement for a preschool operation.
“Kaiser Permanente is excited to partner with Kahikolu and Head Start to make this federally subsidized preschool a reality for our keiki in need in the Waianae area,” said Kaiser Permanente Hawaii Vice President of Strategy and Chief Administrative Officer Jason Hall. “The Kahikolu Shelter primarily serves the Leeward Coast, where health disparities are among the highest in the state. This partnership serves to engage keiki in physical activity and active lifestyles as an integral part of early education, which we hope will lead to healthier families and future generations, closing the gap in health disparities in this area.”
Funding partners for the building of the playground also included the City and County of Honolulu. Federal funding will help pay for ongoing operating costs, including funding positions to run the pre-school.
“Kahikolu provides transitional shelter, services and support to assist homeless in our community establish and maintain self-sufficiency and long-term housing,” commented Mike Kahikina, executive director of Kahikolu Ohana Hale O Waianae. “The addition of this playground and the long-awaited launch of our preschool is a big step toward ensuring the health of our keiki and putting them on the path to a hopeful future.”
Lynn Cabato, director of HCAP Head Start, agrees. “In the current economic climate, the need is more critical than ever to help these families obtain stable housing, employment and now, with the addition of this playground and preschool, hope for a brighter future. The face of homeless is not just adult men and women; it’s children too. Homelessness affects a child emotionally, socially, physically and developmentally, which is why having access to early education will help ground our keiki, making them feel safer and bringing some needed predictability into their lives.”
About Kahikolu Ohana Hale O Waianae
Kahikolu Ohana Hale O Waianae provides transitional and low income affordable housing for
homeless individuals and families in the area. The non-profit organization also provides life skills and vocational training, mental health services, addictive behavior treatment, and pre-school and day care services. For more information, visit www.kohow.org.
About HCAP Head Start
The Head Start program is a federally funded program of the Honolulu Community Action Program, Inc., providing quality, comprehensive services to qualifying preschoolers and their families. Started in 1965, the program has grown to become the largest early childhood program in the State of Hawaii serving over 1,600 children and their families each year. For more information, visit www.hcapweb.org/headstart.html
About Kaiser Permanente Hawaii
Kaiser Permanente Hawaii has provided total health to the people of Hawaii for more than 50 years. Care for members is focused on their total health being guided by their personal physicians, specialists, and team of caregivers. Expert care and medical teams are supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery, and world-class chronic disease management. Its physicians are members of the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group, the largest multi-specialty physician group practice in the state of Hawaii. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education, and the support of community health. Visit kp.org for additional information.