“I’m from Maui. I have a son who turned out just like me…angry, frustrated, suicidal. One night he came home drunk. He started yelling at me, hitting himself. I sat there…all I could think was that I know that I did this to my mom too. He ended up in a suicide ward, and we stayed at the crisis center. We moved to the Big Island to get him into a program here and I ended up at HOPE (then called The Office for Social Ministry -OSM.”

Bernie is quiet and shy, and she won’t smile very much without covering her mouth. It was hard for her to be photographed, but she seemed to really want to share how HOPE has made a difference in her life. “They helped me humble myself to attend classes that I wouldn’t even think of doing. I feel like I accomplished a lot. I was even able to learn to make a ukulele for my son when he graduated. I’m so proud of that. I would tell others that are ready to change…that it works. I’m in my second year of Hawaii Community College, I have a beautiful studio that HOPE helped me get, a car, and a job. I have 2 years of sobriety and I’ve learned to know more about myself.