‘House Of Friendliness’ For At-risk Youths

By Punky Pletan-Cross, Hale Kipa CEO

A runaway from a toxic, dysfunctional family environment; a teen struggling to keep up with his peers at school; a youth on probation, working on turning her life around; a young adult transitioning out of foster care and entering a new life chapter of independence – these are the youths Hale Kipa serves. They are the heart of our organization, defining who we are at Hale Kipa and why we do what we do every day.

Evaluating at-risk youths as whole individuals rather than as the behaviors they exhibit, we look beyond their labels – runaway, homeless, juvenile offender – and see their untapped potential. Building one-on-one relationships, we help them overcome their unfortunate circumstances to become successful, self-sufficient adults.


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Punky Pletan-Cross

Known as the “House of Friendliness” for more than 40 years, Hale Kipa is a private nonprofit that assists at-risk youths and their families with a wide range of multifaceted services that go beyond our organization’s founding shelters.

Over the decades, youths’ needs have evolved, and so too have our services. In addition to providing safe residences and foster care, we have introduced intervention, prevention, support, educational and vocational programs throughout the Hawaiian Islands. We have identified gaps in care and have done our best to fill them with comprehensive services that not only prevent youths from slipping through the cracks, but push them to excel.

One of our more recent initiatives, our Ed/Voc Program, makes education meaningful and applicable to adolescents who are falling behind or have dropped out of school, with hands-on educational experiences outside the classroom. The program reignites a youth’s interest in learning, instills positive behaviors and rebuilds self-confidence – all essential to building a foundation for future success.

As a nonprofit organization, we rely on the community’s generosity. Hale Kipa’s Annual Giving Campaign is an opportunity for you to support our ongoing operations and services, and invest in Hawaii’s at-risk youths. For those interested in giving, please call us at 589-1829, ext. 100 or email us at info@halekipa.org. Give disenfranchised youths hope that they can go to college, pursue a career and better their lives.

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