Volunteers at Kahauiki Village help Hawaii’s homeless families

A community built by a community

Sponsored by Arcadia Family of Companies

Kahauiki Village is an affordable plantation-style community for homeless families with children. Its goal is to reduce family homelessness through a coordinated and collaborated approach that provides at-risk families the help they need. That’s where we find Allen Kamemoto, a volunteer Rotarian.

“Simple, humble beginnings,” he says. “I grew up on a farm in Manoa. I went to Roosevelt and also UH.”

Kamemoto went to the University of Oregon to get his engineering degree. After working at Dole for 10 years, he decided he was going to do what he always wanted to do and went into financial planning. Later, he was also in the army reserves.

“The key to rotary is service above self. Did a lot of community service in the rotary structure,” Kamemoto says. “When Kahauiki came up, got to be real interesting stuff that I like to do. Landscaping, pulling weeds.”

He started to volunteer and eventually became a coordinator for the volunteers for rotary at Kahauiki Village.

“We actually took it literally from the ground up,” he explains. “We still do a lot of the maintenance work and come out here and spend time with the residents, so it’s been very nice.”

Kahauiki Village is an innovative initiative that maximizes public and private resources to implement a long-term strategy for breaking the cycle of homelessness.

“Kahauiki Village is a community built by the community,” says Duane Kurisu, the village’s founder and organizer. “It’s more than shelter for those families who were formerly homeless.”

Today, Kahauiki Village is the most successful program of its kind in the country because of the sole of the community, the achievements of the karate dojo in the awards for karate and the improvement in school of the children, and the transition of families who desired to give others the same opportunity.

For more information: Kahauiki.org