Wahiawa Community Church of the Nazarene, members of the Wahiawa Homeless Alliance and ALEA Bridge will be sponsoring the latest Joint Outreach Engagement, ‘Iliahi – The Wahiawa Giving Tree on December 18, 2016. This is a community Christmas event that will feature food, fun, fellowship and gift giving as our community comes together in the spirit of Christmas to help those who are less fortunate. The idea came from the members of the Nazarene Church who wanted to do something special for our homeless neighbors in the community. Beyond just providing meals and donated items, they wanted to provide a genuine Christmas experience to the homeless that will show how much the community cares about their struggles, and that the residents are committed to helping them through the process of transitioning out of homelessness. Wahiawa is a small rural community located in Central Oahu, with a rich and proud history in agriculture, and was once the focal point of the vibrant pineapple industry on Oahu. In the past few years, the Wahiawa community has experienced the largest increase of homeless population in the Hawaii, with a 17.5% increase from last year, and a staggering 123% increase from 2013. With the help of ALEA Bridge and member agencies of the Wahiawa, Homeless Alliance, we are working together to address the homelessness issues through open and inclusive participation, and develop coordinated and comprehensive solutions appropriate for the community of Wahiawa. In addition, we want to ensure that all of the at-risk and homeless persons are treated with dignity and respect, and valued as a member of the community. This event and will help to bring the community together to establish a support system that addresses the emotional and spiritual needs, as well as build a personal and meaningful relationship, with those that we aim to serve.
Funded by Oahu, HI (January 2017)