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West // West Oahu News
Christina O’Connor

Service Provider Plans To Expand Programs In West Oahu

Catholic Charities Hawaii – which has a statewide office in Makiki – is looking to expand its programs in other areas of the island, including West Oahu, in an effort to reach out to residents in need throughout the state.

The expansion is one part of Catholic Charities’ newly launched, three-pronged Futures Campaign that aims to help seniors live independently for as long as possible, and to update the organization’s use of technology.

CCH provides a range of social services to people in need regardless of their faith. It has more than 30 programs that include senior services, housing assistance, therapeutic counseling and more. CCH president and CEO Jerry Rauckhorst estimates that nearly 80 percent of people seeking aid from Catholic Charities are in need of housing assistance – a trend that has increased in the last few years.

The Makiki campus is comprised of seven different facilities on 2.2 acres.

The Futures Campaign represents an effort to further reach communities in need.

“It’s about how we serve people, and how we can serve people in a much more integrated way and a much more holistic way,” Rauckhorst said.

In addition to expanding its services to West Oahu, Catholic Charities also will be implementing similar program expansions on the Windward and in Central Oahu areas, as well as on Neighbor Islands.

“With the demands and the issues in the community becoming more significant, if not worse, because of the economic situations within our state, it was time really to go through a strategic planning process that would then position us for the next chapter,” Rauckhorst said. “And that is how we decided on the Futures Campaign.

“Look at what is happening in the Kapolei area,” he said. “The population is exploding in those areas. So to think that there aren’t going to be increases in need is kind of crazy … We want to create packages and services of programs that make sense for these communities.”

This portion of the Futures Campaign will entail establishing service centers in the targeted regions, and CCH currently is in the process of finalizing a space in Waipahu. Rauckhorst said that some of the biggest needs CCH sees in its work with the West side include housing, and family and youth counseling.

“For example, we have a youth who needs specialized counseling who is coming (to the Makiki office) from Waianae,” he said. “For that youth to come in and be serviced by our organization, when you think of the amount of time for transportation both ways, when you think of the school time that is going to be missed, it just makes sense that we have got to be closer for that young person to receive these services.

“The need for the kind of services that we have offered primarily (has been) more in the town area, where there has been the density of population,” he said. “But the density is now shifting … So we need to be a part of that as we look to the future.”

For more information about CCH and the other initiatives in the Futures Campaign, call 527-4820 or visit catholiccharitieshawaii.org.

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