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Hawaiʻi Faith-Based Summit on Homelessness

March 14, 2016 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm


It takes a community to solve a community problem. While faith-based organizations do their best to meet the needs of homeless people coming to them for help, we find that many are overwhelmed and are in need of information and resources to help them help others.

Hawaiʻi’s Faith-Based Summit on Homelessness will build capacity in people of faith to better meet the needs of unsheltered homeless persons on their properties; partner with homeless service providers and government resources; and create ministries rooted in faith and founded on best practices.

Summit Agenda:

8:00-8:30 – Continental Breakfast and Gathering

8:30-9:00 – Opening Worship

9:00-9:30 – Plenary Address: The Changing Face of Homelessness: Lessons Learned These Past 37 Years, Connie Mitchell, IHS Executive Director

9:45-11:30 – Workshops (descriptions below)

11:45-12:45 – Lunch and Fr. Claude DuTeil Peanut Butter Ministry Award

1:00-1:45 – Plenary Address: I Will Give You Rest: Legal Issues Surrounding Respite and Housing, Doug Chin, Hawaiʻi State Attorney General

2:00-3:45 – Workshops (descriptions below)

3:45-4:30 – Final Thoughts, Raffle, Closing Prayer

Workshop 1: Who You Gonna Call?

Jerry Coffee, Clinical Director, IHS, The Institute for Human Services
Justin Phillips, Senior Field Outreach Manager, IHS, The Institute for Human Services, Inc.

Audience will better understand what to do when a homeless person comes to your campus. This includes information about how to approach them, ascertain if they want help, and how to refer clients to social services. Discussion includes how to best care for someone experiencing a mental health crisis and how to understand and respond to addiction.

Workshop 2: Wise Handouts

Liza Lee, Development Director, IHS, The Institute for Human Services
Rubie Helekahi, Clinical Program & Training Coordinator, IHS, The Institute for Human Services
Cheryl Takabayashi, Lay Minister, Wellspring Covenant Church

Audience will better understand how to decide when to give your funds and resources; when to refer to social service agencies; and how to work with case managers, especially if you want to sponsor someone through treatment and/or housing. Discussion includes the types of donations that are most helpful and when to give.

Workshop 3: Living and Talking Through Our Faith

Terry Yasuko Ogawa, Chaplain, IHS, The Institute for Human Services
Cecilia Fordham, The Episcopal Diocese of Hawaiʻi/The Interfaith Alliance Hawaiʻi

Audience will better understand how to connect their faith to their response to homelessness; including the range between charity and justice, and discern how to have the conversation when there are conflicting views about how best to engage.

Workshop 4: Prophetic Witness

Gavin Thornton, Executive Director, Hawaiʻi Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice
Betty Lou Larson, Social Policy & Legislative Liaison, Catholic Charities of Hawaiʻi
David Gierlach, St. Elizabeth’s Church/Faith Action for Community Equity
Bob Nakata, Faith Action for Community Equity

Audience will learn how to address the systems that perpetuate homelessness, from housing policy to public benefits to living wages. Discussion will include legislative bills that address homelessness this current session, as well as ongoing need for future policy changes.

Summit Details:

Attendees will be offered continental breakfast and a hot lunch.

Attendees are also encouraged to engage with homeless service provider representatives throughout the day by visiting the information area.

If possible, we would appreciate a donation of at least $35.00 per person to cover event costs. You may either donate at the event, or submit an early donation online at or by mail. Please make all checks payable to IHS and indicate your contribution is being made for the Faith Based Summit. Any donations mailed can be sent to IHS at 546 Kaaahi Street, Honolulu HI 96817.


March 14, 2016
8:00 am - 5:00 pm


Central Union Church
1660 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96826 United States

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