Our History

Solving homelessness for more than 40 years

1978 – The Peanut Butter Ministry Begins

Our story began as a volunteer-driven movement to help those living on Oahu’s streets. On his 58th birthday, Father Claude DuTeil sparked conversations with unsheltered individuals in Chinatown by offering them peanut butter sandwiches and coffee. Having experienced alcoholism and depression, Fr. DuTeil saw the need for more integrated clinical intervention. He knew that progress could only be achieved by working together as a community. He sowed the seeds of compassion that grew to become IHS, The Institute for Human Services. Its first drop-in service center on Smith Street. The center was open every day and welcomed 60 people daily.

1982 – IHS incorporates as a 501c3, private, non-profit organization.


1986 – IHS Sumner shelter opens

With the help of Mayor Fasi’s administration, City & County of Honolulu and federal funding, 350 Sumner Street was built to provide respite and access to shelter, meals and other services. Sumner shelters up to 250 to 300 single men, women and/or families every night. With wide-spread public support, churches, businesseses and restaurants took turns in the kitchen and served an average 3,600 to 4,800 meals each week.

1990 – Fr. Claude DuTeil leaves IHS to retire in Argyle, Texas in 1993 and passes his legacy onto new leadership. He passed away on January 23, 1997.

1990 – 1991 – Rev. Richard Rowe serves as IHS Executive Director.

1991 – 1992 – Rev. Lee Kiefer serves as IHS Interim Executive Director.

1992 – 1997 – Deborah Morikawa serves as IHS Executive Director.

1997 – 2005 – Lynn Maunakea serves as IHS Executive Director.

1997 – IHS opens the Kaaahi Women & Family Shelter.

With the help of Mayor Jeremy Harris’ Administration and The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, IHS fulfills Fr. DuTeil’s vision of opening a shelter devoted to women and families.

2006 – Present – Connie Mitchell joins as Executive Director.

2006 – Present – IHS becomes a fully-integrated homeless service provider.

2007 – IHS begins expansion of homeless services, including case management, housing, employment and two health and wellness centers at the Kaaahi and Sumner shelters.

2012 

IHS opens the Kaamahu Housing and Employment Service Center.

Providing homeless outreach and a weekly drop-in service center at the Waialua Community Service Center in Haleiwa.

2013 – IHS opens its first specialty shelter, the V.E.T. House in Kalihi Valley.

2014 – IHS dedicates Rooftop Training & Education Center at Kaaahi Shelter for prevocational Urban agriculture program featuring aquaponics.

2015 – IHS expands services into Waikiki & Moiliili with outreach, transportation and a monthly drop-in center.

2015 – IHS & the City & County of Honolulu opens Hale Mauliola Housing Navigation Center.

2016 – In partnership with Queens Medical Center and Castle Medical Center, IHS adds respite homes called Tutu Bert Houses to serve those discharged from hospitals who are medically frail.

2018 

IHS pilots Homeless Intensive Case Management Plus to intervene with frequent users of emergency services in partnership with Adult Mental Health Division.

IHS pilots Homeless Intensive Case Management Plus to intervene with frequent users of emergency services in partnership with Adult Mental Health Division. 

Preschool in the Park pilots with Parents and Children Together to offer early childhood education.

Pop-up outreach fairs begin in Windward Oahu.

IHS launches HPD's Chinatown Joint Outreach Center as part of a service provider collaboration.

Kahauiki Village opens as permanent affordable housing for 30 homeless families.

2019 

Tutu Bert's House Kailua begins medical respite in Windward Oahu. 

IHS adds Beacon of Hope (for women) and House of Redemption (for men) to reduce homelessness of those released from prison.

IHS establishes weekly Waikiki Service Depot and evening outreach.

Assisted Community Treatment Law strengthens to support court-ordered treatment for extreme cases of mentally ill homeless individuals.

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