Neighborhood Place of Puna (NPP) began as 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 including; The Island of Hawaii YMCA, Child Welfare Services, the Children’s Justice Center, Turning Point for Families and several concerned citizens submitted an application to Blue Print for Change to open a Neighborhood Place in Puna.
The collaboration was seeking to develop and support a family centered, and community driven, home visiting prevention program that would help ensure that families had 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 effort to expand the reach more families with home visiting services and create sustainability, NPP applied to the IRS for and received its 501(c) (3) non-profit organization status in 2005.
In 2010 Neighborhood Place of Puna applied for and received Title IVBII funds. This multi-year grant allowed NPP to hire staff dedicated to serving the many isolated families living in Upper Puna.
In 2013, in response to a rise in Child Abuse and Neglect in the Hilo district, Neighborhood Place of Puna opened its office in Hilo, in the mixed income neighborhood of Puueo.