Our History

Changing lives for more than 40 years

1978 – The Peanut Butter Ministry

Our story began as a volunteer-driven movement to help those living on Oahu’s streets. On his 58th birthday, Father Claude DuTeil was sitting outside a Chinatown storefront where he sparked conversations with unsheltered individuals 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 people wanting help could only achieve progress by working through it together, as a community. He was sowing the seeds of compassion that eventually grew to become IHS.

With the help of Hawaii community organizations, businesses, the faith-based community and government, Fr. DuTeil opened IHS’ first drop-in service center on Smith Street. The center was open every day and welcomed 60 people each day.

1982 – IHS is incorporated as a 501c3, private, non-profit agency.


1986 – IHS Sumner Shelter is built

IHS changed locations frequently after opening its drop-in service center. 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 was able to shelter up to 250 to 300 single men, women and/or families every night. With wide-spread public support, churches, multiple businesseses, and restaurants took turns in the kitchen and served an average 3,600 to 4,800 meals per week.

1990 – Fr. Claude DuTeil leaves IHS and passes his legacy onto new leadership.

Fr. DuTeil achieved so much while battling alcoholism and depression. He developed Parkinson’s disease later in life and he and his family moved to Argyle, Texas, in 1993 to retire. Fr. DuTeil passed away on January 23, 1997.

1990 – 1991 – Rev. Richard Rowe, Former IHS Executive Director.

1991 – 1992 – Rev. Lee Kiefer, Former IHS Interim Executive Director.

1992 – 1997 – Deborah Morikawa, Former IHS Executive Director.

1997 – 2005 – Lynn Maunakea, Former IHS Executive Director.

1997 – IHS opens the Kaaahi Women & Family Shelter.

With the help of Mayor Jeremy Harris’ Administration and financial support from The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, IHS fulfilled Fr. DuTeil’s vision of opening a separate shelter For women and families.

2006 – Present – Connie Mitchell, Current IHS Executive Director.

2006 – Present – IHS grows to become a fully-integrated homeless service provider.

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


2012 – IHS expands services to Oahu’s North Shore

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

2012 – IHS opens the Kaamahu Housing and Employment Service Center.

2013 – IHS opens it's first specialty shelter, the V.E.T. House in Kalihi Valley.

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

2015 – IHS expands services into Waikiki & Moiliili providing homeless outreach, transportation and a monthly drop-in service 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 expands its specialty shelter options to include medical respite homes known as the Tutu Bert Houses to medically frail homeless discharged from the hospital.

2018 – IHS pilots Homeless Intensive Case Management Plus to intervene with frequent users of emergency services in partnership with Adult Mental Health Division.
– Pilot Preschool in the Park program with Parents and Children Together provides early childhood education for homeless families.
– Pop-up outreach fairs are established in Windward Oahu.
– IHS helps launch HPD's Chinatown Joint Outreach Center with a service provider collaborative.
– Kahauiki Village opens providing permanent affordable housing for 30 homeless families.

2019 – Tutu Bert's House Kailua begins medical respite in Windward Oahu.
– IHS adds Beacon of Hope and House of Redemption to help formerly incarcerated women and men transition into community.
– IHS establishes weekly Waikiki Service Depot and evening outreach.
– Assisted Community Treatment Law strengthened to better enable court ordered treatment for those disabled by mental illness.

news & events