Updated: December 8, 2023
Nareit Hawaiʻi today awarded a $75,000 grant to the nonprofit Catholic Charities Housing Development Corporation in support of its efforts to provide stable and affordable housing for young, single mothers with small children.
The mothers are raising their children in a 12-unit apartment building owned by Catholic Charities Housing Development Corporation in central Honolulu, as they make the successful transition from Catholic Charities’ Mary Jane Program, where they received support to prepare for motherhood and become a nurturing, protective parent.
Before entering the Mary Jane Program, the expectant mothers were coping with difficult life challenges, such as homelessness, an absence of support from their immediate family, or being subjected to an abusive home situation.
With case management support from the Catholic Charities Housing Development Corporation, the young mothers are now living independently in their own apartment, while learning to be more self-sufficient and confident in raising their children. The support provided them includes assistance with securing steady employment, improving their education, and learning budgeting and life-planning skills.
The Nareit Hawaiʻi grant will improve the living conditions for the families by funding the construction of a new, covered laundry area for the apartment building along with the purchase of a new washer and dryer. In addition, the building’s parking lot will be completely resurfaced as it has become degraded and hazardous while walking.
Michael Magaoay, President of the Board of Directors for Catholic Charities Housing Development Corporation, noted that providing these young mothers with quality affordable housing in a protective, respectful environment is helping them build their self-esteem and confidence in decision-making and planning, while raising their children in a safe and secure home setting.
Magaoay said the famous quote by Sir Winston Churchill perfectly sums up the impact of the support these young families are receiving: “We make a living by what we get, we make life by what we give.”
Nareit Hawaiʻi Executive Director Gladys Quinto Marrone said, “It’s comforting knowing there is such a deeply caring organization with dedicated social service professionals like the Catholic Charities Housing Development Corporation that is giving these children and their mothers a solid foundation to build toward a better future. We’re grateful to be offering our support to these families and provide the funding for these improvements that will help make their daily lives a better experience.”