- a 2004-2006
Advance Special -
First United Methodist Church of Honolulu
Hawaii Helping the Hungry Have Hope
Click on logo for program details.
Foodland's Annual Community
Matching Gifts Program
Donate in September. Our Give Aloha number is 78307 ...more...
Inspiration: Luke 10:25-37
I Corinthians 4
Methodists on hunger
Homeless in Hawaii
National Coalition for the Homeless Homeless Veterans National Student Campaign against
Hunger and Homelessness
Programs that work:...and in Hawaii
- Pathways to Housing
- Lehrer Newhour documentary
- about Dr. Sam Tsemberis
- back to Corporation for Supportive Housing
- Glide UMC, San Francisco
Hawaii Habitat for Humanity Institute for Human Services (Hawaii) Programs for the homeless
HCDCH, State of Hawaii
Services organizations in Hawaii
for the homeless
UH Forum on Homelessness (pdf) Aloha United Way listings
$5.6 million for homeless Hawai'i Plan to End Chronic
Plan for homelessness unveiled
"Mayor Harris revives plan to house
homeless," deadline for RFP Aug. 6th
"Homeless find help at
Leeward outreach center"
"$8 million project benefits homeless" About the Hawaii Foodbank Hawaii Foodbank homepage about its founder about a major benefactor,
the Weinberg Foundation
Philanthropy Roundtable September/October, 2003
About the H-5
Honolulu Star Bulletin, Nov. 20, 2004 Circuit West, Nov. 5, 2004 article
Focus, August, 2004
Ben Timmerman's interview (December, 2003)
Siuea Utuloa Langi
H-5 Program founder
Utu's idea for the H-5 (Hawaii Helping the Hungry Have Hope) program began to take shape in in 1996, two years after his participation in the first Hawaii Walk to Emmaus and then joining the Emmaus team. It began with the distribution of blankets at Christmas time, then progressed to blankets and hot, thick soup prepared by our church members on Christmas eve for homeless persons (see the interview by Ben Timmerman for more details as well as in our August 2004 newsletter).
By April 2003, H-5 began serving meals once a week to the homeless. Five months later, Utu and a team of half a dozen men and women, mostly homeless themselves, were cooking meals in the First United Methodist Church (FUMC) kitchen and delivering them in a van donated by a church member. Utu's ministry in the church continued to expand with an 8 a.m. Sunday meditation for the homeless, which also increased to daily meditation time at our church at 8 a.m. (Utu is also one of our Certified Lay Speakers).
Utu and son with helpers prepare sandwich
and snack lunches for homeless
Today, the distribution is estimated at about 2,300 meals a month, free of charge, six times a week to homeless people at Ala Moana Park, Waikiki and other places in the neighborhood. They now even travel as far as the Waianae mountains in the rain to feed children and adults living under trees. During this same period, the H-5 inspired several other churches to undertake similar efforts.
Volunteers help Utu pack sandwiches
and snacks for homeless
The initial expansion of H-5's ministry was supported primarily through our church Foodbank sharing its Hawaii Foodbank account with the H-5 project after gaining the Hawaii Foodbank's approval. The extended use of kitchen facilities was approved by FUMC Administrative Council and Trustees, who also made space available for an air conditioned office in the garage area. By October 2003, the H-5 accounted for about 36% of our Foodbank's monthly cost and most of the use of the kitchen.
Late in 2003, the H-5 received it's own Hawaii Foodbank account. This year it has received Hawaii Foodbank grants-in-aid, a $3,500 grant from the California-Pacific Conference of the United Methodist Church, and advanced special status which enables it to solicit grants from all Methodist churches in the USA and personal donations from our congregation. Currently most of the funding support comes from donations by our congregation, followed by grants-in-aid from the Hawaii Foodbank itself, our Methodist California-Pacific Conference's Hunger Fund, then many smaller donations from local churches. Because the Hawaii Foodbank's federal grants have been cut by 2/3rds this year, the H-5 program is in danger of being severely cut back. This year also marked the beginning of some of the H-5 crew doing volunteer work at the Hawaii Foodbank itself, helping with inventory, and participating in the Hawaii Foodbank's annual fund raising events.
A program like the H-5 (and for that matter our Foodbank) could become much larger and expand into other areas of community service. We have several proposals out to foundations and our own charitable resources fund, but none have actually come in. We are trying to educate ourselves in grant application procedures for "compassionate capital" but the process is slow and hampered by the simple fact that we are a small congregation--about 350 members, half Tongan, half a mix of many many ethnic groups and groping with many other social issues--and with limited resources (our total budget is a bit more than $400K and usually in the red). But we are in a "downtown" area with many homeless people at our doorstep, some of whom are willing and able to help with the shopping and cooking and who constitute a core group willing to work to help each other onto a path of faith and prosperity. We are looking for solutions and model programs for homeless shelters, perhaps along the lines of the New York City model (see the Sam Tsemberis link) or the Glide UMC. model. There are an estimated 6,000 homeless men, women and children in Honolulu which has a population of about one million; and all the helping agencies are stretched very thin.
Would You Like to Help?
Would you like to contribute to the H-5 program, perhaps help financially, or participate in the cooking or distribution of meals, or just meet with folks helping or being helped, or first learn more? If so, here are some options:
You call Utu at the H-5 office, 522-0397 or his cell at 223-5176. You can call his wife Samiana at our Preschool, 522-9565, during schooldays. You can write checks made out to "First United Methodist Church of Honolulu," memo it "H-5 Program," and mail to: First United Methodist Church, 1020 S. Beretania St., Honolulu, Hawaii 96814. The United Methodist Church and its programs are a 501(c)(3) organization so your donations are tax deductible. Since this is an Advance Special in the UMC system, Methodist churches may contribute directly by writing checks to First United Methodist Church of Honolulu, memo'd to the H-5 Program as above. Individuals may do the same of course. Foodland's Give Aloha This September 2005, you can contribute through any Foodland or Sack'N'Save in Hawaii. Just tell them you want to contribute to H-5 and/or give them the Foodland account number, 78307. Your donations will contribute to H-5 getting a share of $300,000 ($250,000 from Foodland and $50,000 from the Western Union Foundation) being contributed for all the agencies participating in the Give Aloha campaign (for more information see the Foodland Give Aloha website).
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I designed this page in July, 2004 and last updated in January 14, 2005.
First United Methodist Church of Honolulu