Brandee Menino & Senator Inouye

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, Oct. 18, 2010 – On Friday, October 18, HOPE Services Hawaii and the County of Hawaii hosted the grand opening and blessing of the West Hawaii Emergency Housing facility, which will provide emergency housing and support services to men and women experiencing homelessness in West Hawaii. The event was attended by Senator Daniel Inouye and Mayor Billy Kenoi, as well as representatives from many agencies, offices, and funding organizations concerned with homelessness in Hawaii.


Kahu Brian Boshard blessing new housing facility.

Opening and welcome remarks were provided by Jeremy McComber and Stephen Arnett, from the Office of Housing and Community Development, followed by special remarks by Carol Ignacio, Executive Director of the Office for Social Ministry; Marc Miranda, from the Office of Govenor Linda Lingle; Daniel K. Inouye, United States Senator; and Billy Kenoi, Hawaii Island’s Mayor. A moving presentation was also provided by Michael “Bud” Luth an individual who experienced homelessness in Kona for 6 years, “ I know this program can help people. The faith and belief that these people (HOPE Services Hawaii) showed in me, really made me believe in myself…It made me want to help others as well.” Michael is currently employed by HOPE Services Hawaii as an Outreach Specialist and will be a Shelter Specialist of this new housing program. The blessing was led by Brian Boshard, Associate Pastor of Mokuaikaua Church, after which attendees were invited to enjoy refreshments and tour the new facility.


Carol Ignacio, Brandee Menino, and Mayor Billy Kenoi bow heads at the blessing

The West Hawaii Emergency Housing facility expands the campus of the “The Friendly Place” Drop-in Center, located at 74-5593 Pawai Place in Kailua-Kona. HOPE Services Hawaii Inc, formerly known as the CARE-A-VAN program, will operate and manage the daily operations of both facilities. “It’s an honor and privilege to continue to do what we do and offer opportunities through programs like this by inspiring hope, changing lives.” says Brandee Menino, Chief Executive Officer of HOPE Services Hawaii. Funding for the development of the new housing facility was made possible by Federal ($810,000), State ($450,000) and County ($480,000) grants , while funding for program operations was obtained from the State Department of Human Services, Hawaii Island United Way, Hawaii Community Foundation, and the County of Hawaii – Human Services Grant.


Michael “Bud” Luth, HOPE Services Hawaii outreach specialist, speaks about his own experience with homelessness.

HOPE Services Hawaii Inc, a non-profit 501(c)(3), operates and manages numerous homeless programs on the Island of Hawaii, including HUD’s Shelter Plus Care, TANF Housing Placement, Representative Payee Programs, SNAP Outreach, Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-housing, Ponahawaiola Transitional Housing, Beyond Shelter, Wilder and Kuleana House Transitional Housing.

For more information:
To contact HOPE Services Hawaii’s Chief Executive Officer, Brandee Menino call 808.933.6013 or email Brandee at

HOPE Services Hawaii Inc.
1315 Kalanianaole Ave.
Hilo, Hawaii 96720
Phone: (808) 935-3050 / Fax: (808) 935-3794