Helping Parents Raise Safe and Healthy Children

The Poverty Trap

As Americans, we are torn between two disparate images of poverty. One is the romantic poverty of Thoreau and Saint Francis, the holy poverty of simple lives. The other is vilified poverty, the poverty of the “welfare queen” and the “bum.” The holy poor live in stories and myth. The vilified poor live on the…

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Making a Difference

Broken Window

In a rural community like Puna, physical isolation can be a hurdle to success and barrier to accessing even the most basic of resources.  Housing is relatively cheap, but transportation is not. This forces individuals and families who are in poverty and lack financial resource—those who need the most support—to live where support is least…

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The Work of Helping Families

A woman came to our office on a recent Friday afternoon. She had one of her sons with her and was on the verge of tears from the emotional strain of living in a car with her children. She had a voucher for subsidized housing and had found an apartment, but the apartment failed the…

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The Insecurity of Poverty

Poverty is characterized by insecurity, instability, and stress. When a family does not have enough money to meet even the basic needs of housing, food, transportation, and medicine, they will, by necessity, go without at least one of these essentials for some period of time. A family in poverty will be homeless at some point.…

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Supporting East Hawaii Families

2014 has been a hard year for Puna families.  In addition to the usual challenges of poverty, isolation, and transportation, Hurricane Iselle came ashore over Puna early in the morning of August 9th, felling trees, closing roads, and forcing many in Puna to live without power for days or weeks. Many of the families Neighborhood…

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Practicing Hospitality

Hospitality, the willingness to offer shelter and food to strangers, is an ancient practice. It is a virtue praised in many religious traditions and an ethic that Neighborhood Place of Puna tries to embody. This ethic was tested late in the day, on the eve of the Veterans’ day holiday, when Neighborhood Place of Puna…

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The Work of Honoring Each Person

Neighborhood Place of Puna services are built on relationships, relationships that deeply value each individual person. We help families who are trying to raise safe and healthy children. We provide emergency food assistance to families and individuals who are hungry. We are also helping individuals and families dealing with the impacts of Hurricane Iselle and…

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Volunteer Opportunities

Neighborhood Place of Puna has volunteer opportunities for the following areas: Food Pantry, Sports Rescue, and Community Events. See Volunteer Application for descriptions. For more information, call Jay at 965-5550. Click here for Volunteer Application You may fax to 965-5109.

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They Are All Our Responsibility

Baby holding hand

Wednesday was a holiday here in Hawaii. Having a friend visiting from the mainland we struck out for day of sun and fun on West side of the Island. As we pulled into a parking spot at the beach, we noticed a naked two year old girl wondering around the edge of the parking lot.…

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Helping Pregnant and Parenting Teens

Mom holding young baby

Neighborhood Place of Puna is now providing intensive, ongoing, in-home, services to pregnant and parenting teens thanks to a grant from the Hawaii Children’s Trust Fund.  NPP will help these teens connect to essential services, learn about pregnancy and parenting, and try to help the teen create a safe and nurturing environment for the baby.…

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