LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Homeless services on a good day is difficult and overwhelming. Because it is so multifaceted, it is easy to get discouraged because there isn’t just one cause of homelessness. There is no clear singular path forward. It is not just about the lack of affordable housing, although that is a large part. There is also the lack of a true living wage on Oahu, substance abuse, mental health issues, systemic problems, stigma and biases, lack of funding, the criminalizing of homelessness and judicial inequality, etc. The breadth of this issue is wide and far-reaching, traversing so many sectors and often entangled with so much noise that it’s hard to see past it all into the heart of the issue; much less trying to fix it. This work is certainly not for the faint of heart and it is a daily struggle to find a balance between giving all you’ve got and not losing yourself in the process. So when I think of those out there on the frontlines, in the back offices, sitting in legislative sessions, the volunteers and donors, grantors and funders, people advocating on behalf of those experiencing homelessness and fighting to bring an end to it, I am overwhelmed with reverence and admiration. All of you and your selfless dedication is what fills me with hope as I ponder the end of 2021 and all the possibilities that 2022 will bring. No matter what happens across the world or right here on Oahu, at the heart of it all is the people. It is our humanity and sense of aloha that will sustain us through whatever life brings and I am in awe of our resilient community. I am extremely proud of all the things we’ve accomplished together, but even more so I am excited about what 2022 promises to bring. We have innovative and dynamic ideas, projects that will change everything about how we address homelessness and we are very honored to share this journey with all of you. Thank you for standing with us in the fight to End Homelessness and know that all of us at Achieve Zero appreciate your support, your belief in us, and most importantly, your dedication to serving our houseless brothers and sisters. In closing, I leave you with this quote: “When life hands you lemons, freeze them and throw them at the people making your life difficult.” Merry Christmas from our families to yours and wishing you a happy and prosperous 2022!
Throughout this Holiday Season, our team has dedicated their time towards giving back to the community. Through a project called, "Days of Christmas," we were able to partner with community members to spread some Holiday cheer. Our days consisted of fun with kittens, youth, and lots of food.
On the first day of Christmas, our team, in partnership with the Mai Movement and Women's Fund of Hawai`i, donated 50 packs of feminine hygiene products to Leilehua High School.
On the second day of Christmas, members of our team donated blood to the Blood Bank of Hawai`i!
On the third day of Christmas, we were able to spend some time at the OSPCA helping to clean up damage from the storm and playing with puppies!
On the fourth day of Christmas, we took time to thank first responders for their hard work and service to the community with delicious donuts!
On the fifth day of Christmas, it was a beach day as our team worked to pick up trash at Oneula Beach Park in Ewa Beach.
On the sixth day of Christmas, it was kitty time! Members of our team spent time helping to socialize cats at our local OSPCA.
On the seventh day of Christmas, we had an amazing time filled with games, food, and fun! Partnering with RYSE, our team was able to plan a Christmas party for the youth staying at The Haleiwa Project.
On the eighth day of Christmas, it was coffee time! The Outreach Case Managers were given the opportunity to distribute hot coffee and hygiene bags to those in need.
On the ninth day of Christmas, our team took the time to reflect on the past year and those who passed away on the streets with a Moment of Silence. It was a time to reflect and remember those we lost, while at the same time gaining a renewed passion to continue the fight to end homelessness.
*For Pictures of our Days of Christmas, look above and below*