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A new roof over their heads

  • Courtesy of Leona Sa McDermott

    Kaua‘i Habitat for Humanity board member La Contrades, left, and board president Leona Sa McDermott, right, celebrate the makana gifts presented to the Victor ‘ohana on their new home in Anahola.

  • Courtesy of Leona Sa McDermott

    Kaua‘i Habitat for Humanity board member La Contradess and board president Leona Sa McDermott celebrate the makana gifts presented to the Kaiwi ‘ohana on their new home in Anahola.

  • Photos courtesy of Leona Sa McDermott

    The Aki ‘ohana celebrate the makana gifts presented by Kaua‘i Habitat for Humanity board pressident Leona Sa McDermott and board member La Contrades during a recent blessing of the Aki’s new home in Anahola.

ANAHOLA — Kaua‘i Habitat for Humanity board president Leona Sa McDermott and board member La Contrades only recently presented makana gifts to three new home owners in Anahola, Department of Hawaiian Homelands.

“We have a special connection to these people,” Sa McDermott said. “We are all longtime residents of Anahola, and having new homes — especially during these trying times of the pandemic — is something we need to celebrate even if formal house blessings can’t be done because of social distancing.”

The Aki, Kaiwi, and Victor families were presented with personal congratulations, blessings, a plant for their new homes, and the customary Holy Bible — gifts normally presented during the traditional house key passing conducted by the Kaua‘i Habitat for Humanity.

“I don’t have records of how many hours the families put into getting their homes ready,” Sa McDermott said. “But I’m sure it exceeded what they needed to put in because they worked really hard to get these homes ready.”

McDermott said some of the homeowner responses to having a home to live in during this pandemic included, “relief,” “security,” and “It’s home!”

“This is like a huge weight lifted off their shoulders,” the board president said. “These families will embark on a new journey and make wonderful memories as they live in their new homes.”

Milani Pimental, the Kaua‘i Habitat for Humanity executive director, said in addition to the three Anahola homeless, they have celebrated the completion of nine homes — five in ‘Ele‘ele, and another five scheduled for completion within the next two, or three weeks — during this time of lockdown from COVID-19.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

2 Comments
  1. Ken Conklin June 5, 2020 10:46 am Reply

    The people of Hawaii have long been accustomed to seeing state government agencies OHA and DHHL, and private entities like Bishop Estate (Kamehameha schools) engaging in racially exclusionary behavior, giving government money and land, and private philanthropy, to ethnic Hawaiians while excluding all others. But now we’re seeing a trend of other groups jumping onto that bandwagon. Early in May, a press release said that Aloha United Way would begin giving rental assistance exclusively to residents on the Hawaiian homelands. For many years I’ve noticed that every single time Habitat for Humanity builds a new house for a desperately needy family on any island in Hawaii, it’s always on Hawaiian Homelands; and in early May, Habitat just did it again in Anahola. Is Habitat a wholly owned subsidiary of DHHL? I will never donate money or give help to either Habitat or United Way, because I am opposed to subsidizing or in any way being an accomplice to racial segregation, racial exclusivity, or racial preference.


  2. H.K. June 5, 2020 7:38 pm Reply

    Ken. You are sadly misguided. OHA and DHHL both have the word Hawaiian in them and rightly so.

    There is no “racial segregation, racial exclusivity, or racial preference” happening here.


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