Heal­ing Cen­ter Uses Tra­di­tional Meth­ods To Help Area Youths

MidWeek Islander (Central Oahu) - - Central Oahu Islander - By CAROL CHANG

A new ef­fort to as­sist teenagers on pro­ba­tion be­gan this spring on the North Shore, and pro­gram man­ager Wil­liams Fal­e­vai wants ev­ery­one to know about it.

“We re­cently ex­panded to in­clude youths from Haleiwa, Wa­ialua and Ka­neohe, as well as Ko‘olauloa (Waimea to Kaaawa),” said Fal­e­vai, MSW, of Hale o Ho‘oulu a me Mauli‘ola (House of Growth and Heal­ing).

“It’s a non-res­i­den­tial start-up pro­gram for youths ages 13 to 17 who have been through trauma, and we are here to help them with chem­i­cal de­pen­dence ed­u­ca­tion, school, job skills and in­ter­views, re­sumes and ther­apy — in­di­vid­ual and fam­ily,” he added.

The non­profit ser­vice main­tains a class­room and of­fice in Kahuku and is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. week­days by the su­gar mill at 56-565 Kame­hameha Hwy.

Be­yond the day treat­ment pro­gram, the of­fice has a cri­sis-re­sponse com­po­nent with a coun­selor avail­able 24-hours-a-day by phone or for a house visit, hospi­tal as­sess­ment and fol­low up. For de­tails, call Fal­e­vai at 380-6102.

A large fed­eral grant from Of­fice of Youth Ser­vices was awarded to the Bobby Ben­son Cen­ter to cre­ate the pro­gram, and it may be ex­tended be­yond its funded two-year pe­riod. The in­tent is to help youths fo­cus on “pos­i­tive cop­ing skills, de­crease crim­i­nal think­ing, avoid re­cidi­vism and learn the skills to be­come a pos­i­tive mem­ber of so­ci­ety.”

Fam­ily is key to the ther­apy, Fal­e­vai added, and staff works to help the ohana rec­og­nize its role in the youths’ strug­gles, trans­form­ing from be­ing a pos­si­ble prob­lem to be­ing part of the so­lu­tion.

Hale o Ho‘oulu also em­ploys the WhyTry? pro­gram and its hands-on ap­proach to dropouts, vi­o­lence, drugs, al­co­hol, tru­ancy, bul­ly­ing and fail­ure.

The group also brings in community mem­bers, kupuna and oth­ers to in­still cul­tural val­ues.

Wil­liams Fal­e­vai (cen­ter), ed­u­ca­tion as­sis­tant Cami Gar­ri­gan (left) and ‘WhyTry?’ founder Chris­tian Moore. Photo from Wil­liams Fal­e­vai.

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