Neighborhood Place of Puna (NPP) is a Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention agency. Our primary services include housing, disaster relief and our Family Strengthening home-visitation program. Family Strengthening is a free program in East Hawai’i offering voluntary, intensive services supporting families with children age 0-17.
Our goal is to ensure that families have access to the resources and skills they need to raise safe and healthy children, free of abuse and neglect.
NPP helps parents and children by meeting weekly with families however is most convenient for them, over a period of several months, connecting the family to available resources, providing encouragement and support, and helping parents understand their children’s developmental stages.
The Neighborhood Place of Puna family strengthening program helps caretakers identify their strengths, improve on weak areas, and enables success as a family. Those who complete the program are given additional knowledge, resources, and skills to raise safe and healthy children.
Neighborhood Place of Puna began as a community response to the high amount of child abuse in Puna and the disproportionately high removal rate of Hawaiian children from their homes.
In 2002 a collaboration of community groups- The Island of Hawaii YMCA, Child Welfare Services, the Children’s Justice Center, Turning Point for Families, and other concerned individuals submitted an application to Blue Print for Change to open a Neighborhood Place in Puna.
The collaboration sought to develop and support our family-centered, and community-driven, home visitation prevention program that would help ensure that families have access to the resources and skills necessary to raise safe and healthy children.
In August of 2002, the Island of Hawaii YMCA opened the Neighborhood Place of Puna in Pahoa to families and community groups in Puna. In 2003 NPP received additional funding from the Hawaii Children’s Trust fund.
In an effort to expand our reach and create sustainability, NPP received its IRS non-profit organization status in 2006. Since 2014 we have also supported disaster-related work and resilience/recovery in our community, and in 2019 we opened our first Family Assessment Center for homeless families in need of shelter.
Are you or a family at risk of child abuse or neglect? Low-income, sometimes overworked caregivers are often at risk of negative outcomes due in part to stress and lack of access to resources. Families experiencing historical/epigenetic trauma and those with high ACE scores may especially be at heightened risk and may benefit from Neighborhood Place of Puna’s in-home Family Strengthening and prevention program.
Today, our main office is located at 16-105 Opukahaia St., Keaau, Hawaii. In addition to our in-home/remote Family Strengthening services, we also continue to operate our Disaster Case Management office and two homeless shelters: Hale Hanakahi for high-risk homeless individuals seeking shelter during the pandemic, and Hale ‘Iki for families and children in East Hawai’i. We are continually working with partners and allies to address the current economic and health concerns during Covid-19 and other disasters. In the near future, we will also be launching ‘olelo-based counseling to more effectively serve Native Hawaiian clients.
We thank you for being part of our community, sighing up for NPP’s free programs if you are in need, and donating to NPP if you are able to give. Your support allows our caseworkers and services to continue into the future. Like you, we are here to connect Hawai’i families and keiki to support with compassion and aloha.