“We need really creative solutions to help seniors stay active, and not just physically…seniors have…
Though housing insecurity across Hawaiʻi persists, many kūpuna (older adults) and people with disabilities find a safe home and a sense of community at government-assisted housing complexes. This is particularly true for kūpuna who are not lucky enough to own a home or may have limited housing options that fit their budget and needs. These apartments provide not only a roof over our heads but also open up possibilities for community spaces – physical and metaphorical – to bring people and cultures together, create a sense of belonging for residents who have been displaced from their homes of origin while nurturing the self-determination and independence of residents as we age. This could not be more true in a “post-pandemic” world, where we have learned the true value of community and relationships after experiencing isolation in our homes.
Creating a vibrant, age-empowered community includes activating services promoting health, independence, and community participation. On August 25, HIPHI and its partners (including those participating in the Kūpuna Collective) joined together to provide these services at Kalanihuia housing on ʻAʻala Street. With the support of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, AlohaCare assisted with Medicaid and Medicare enrollment while also providing bags of fresh produce, Pear Suite assisted with intake and enrolling kūpuna in the Affordable Connectivity Program, Project Vision Hawaiʻi offered COVID-19 boosters, and Pacific Gateway Center helped to arrange on-site interpreters for those who spoke Vietnamese, Chinese, and Korean. In addition to helping on the back end to secure grants, coordinate partners, and assist with data reporting, HIPHI led a food garden activity and engaged with kūpuna residents who stopped by. Though residents spoke different languages, they were able to connect by sharing their favorite vegetables to grow in the garden. At the end of the day, 151 kūpuna and people with disabilities gained access to these important services.
Mahalo to our incredible partners and, most importantly, the residents and staff of Kalanihuia, who inspire us in the way they build connections with the community and each other. To learn more about HIPHI’s kūpuna programs, visit our webpage or email firstname.lastname@example.org.