Catholic Charities Landlord Summit: Homes for the Homeless

Students from our Fellows Class of 2015 saw a need to help the homeless community here in Hawaii, and thus, over the past year, they have worked to create an easier process for finding housing for this community. Homelessness is a reoccurring issue in Hawaii and there have been many proposals for creating change; however, one of the biggest problems is creating a healthy relationship between landlords and possible homeowners. This group created their project to address this issue.

This group consisted of Sierra Doi, DJ Carlos, Jeremy Liu, Kyla George who attend Kaiser, Damien, Punahou, Hanalani schools. With the help of their project mentor, Ms. April Nakamura, this group was able to host the Landlord Summit.

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What is Landlord Summit?

This project aims to connect landlords and Catholic Charities Hawaii in order to provide homes for the homeless population. We planned a summit where we offered the landlords a place to network while informing them of the benefit of the Housing First Program, how it’s connected to the states plan and how it benefits the community.

What is the vision of this project?

By completing the last piece of the puzzle, we see Hawaii as a safe place where everyone has the opportunity to have a home. 

During your time in the Fellows program, what was your group able to do?

We were able to plan and host the Landlord Summit before graduation day. It was successful because many landlords contacted Catholic Charities and were interested in the Program before and after the Summit.

How do you think the skills you have gained in the CTL fellows program have helped your project to succeed?

I definitely learned how to reach out and talk to people. If it wasn't for that I wouldn't have been able to send out over a thousand letters to individuals, asking them to come to our Landlord Summit.

Now that you are all officially alumni of the Center for Tomorrow's Leaders, what are your next steps for your project? 

When Catholic Charities is ready, they will contact us for help in creating a larger Summit, which will include larger organizations involved in the Housing First Plan.

Would you like to thank any specific people for their support/help?

Yes, definitely Ms. Naks because without her I would have completely given up and we wouldn't have completed our project. Also Adrian Contreras, Rebecca Charlton, Peter Mattoon, Rona Fukumoto and especially Erin White, all from Catholic Charities who were with us step-by-step leading up to the summit.