Triple Border
Quarterly Newsletter

Apr 2013 

In This Issue
BREAKING: Report Shows Place-Based Youth Financial Education Works
Short Film Contest Attracts Financial Education Videos
HCA Expands Leadership Team
UH West Oahu Contracts HCA for 6-YR GEAR UP Project
HFFP Assists 59 HCA Families, 90 Children Secure Affordable Housing
Young Leaders Join Affordable Housing VISTA Project
HCA Hilo Helps Hawaii Island Families Claim OVer $95k in Tax Returns
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2013 Homebuyer
Workshop Schedule 

Kahua Waiwai Homebuyer Ed Cover

Workshops are free to attend
Attendees MUST  first submit a completed client intake packet before workshop registraion
Kapolei - DHHL Hale Ponoi
8:30a - 5p 
  • Jun 15th
  • Jul 20th
  • Aug 17th
  • Sept 21st

Honolulu - HCA Office 

8:30a - 5p

  • Jul 6th
  • Sept 7th



Wailuku - Queen Liliuokalani Children's Center
8:30a - 5p
  • Apr 20th
  • May 18th
  • Jun 22nd
  • Jul 20th
  • Aug 17th
  • Sept 28th
Kaunakakai - Molokai Affordable Homes & Community Development Corporation
8:30a - 5p 
  • TBA
Big Island 
  • TBA


Hilo - Hawaii County Office 
8:30a - 5p  
  • Apr 27th
  • Jun 1st
  • Aug 3rd
  • Oct 5h
  • Dec 7th



Kauai County Building -

includes 2 part workshop series
5p - 9p 

  • May 14th & 16th
  • Jun 18th & 20th
  • Jul 16th & 18th
  • Aug 13th & 15th
  • Sept 17th & 19th
  • Oct 15th & 17th
  • Nov 19th & 21st
  • Dec 17th & 19th


For more information or to register for a workshop in your community, contact HCA at (toll-free) 1.866.400.1116. 



Hawaiian Community Assets (HCA) is a HUD approved housing counseling agency and Native community development financial institution.  HCA offers this quarterly newsletter to provide you with updated information on current programs and services.
HCA's mission is to build the capacity of low and moderate income communities to achieve and sustain economic self-sufficiency with a particular focus on Native Hawaiians.

HCA programs and products include:  
  • Renter Education and Counseling 
  • Pre-Purchase Homebuyer Education and Counseling
  • Post-Purchase Education and Counseling
  • Foreclosure/Lease Cancellation Prevention Services
  • Youth and Family Financial Education
  • Youth and Renters MATCH Savings
  • Tax and FAFSA Preparation Services
  • Credit Builder Micro-Loans
  • Loan Packaging

Invest in Our Next Generation


Report Shows Place-Based Youth Financial Education Works 



KW Youth Program Report 

HAWAII - HUD-approved housing counseling agency and Native community development financial institution, Hawaiian Community Assets (HCA), in partnership with First Nations Development Institute and Hawaii County, unveiled the Investing in Our Next Generation: Kahua Waiwai Youth Financial Education Program Report on Tuesday, April 16th.


The Report includes data collected on HCA's Kahua Waiwai Youth Financial Education Program during pilot projects conducted from 2009 to 2011 and a statewide demonstration project in 2012 funded by First Nations Development Institute and Hawaii County.  Highlighting the impacts of the program's place-based and age-appropriate service delivery model, the Report identifies outcomes from youth financial education worskhops on employment, budgeting, banking, credit, and college and career planning, as well as from copmlimentary train-the-trainer sessions and integrated asset building programs.


"It [the Kahua Waiwai Youth Financial Education Program] is an investment that is pivotal in building self-sufficiency of our people and is rooted in educating our children with the appropriate tools and in the appropriate way," shared HCA co-founder and acting Board President, Kehaulani Filimoeatu, who co-authored the Kahua Waiwai, Homebuyer Edition(c).  "We mahalo our young people for their hard work.  Our Opio curriculum and program could have only come from them, in the way they see and experience the world."


Youth, family, and community engagement has been the driving force behind the program's success.  While community members participated in focus groups and served as volunteer Kahua Waiwai trainers, more than 100 Hawaii youth helped draft, edit, design, and illustrate the program's place-based curriculum, Kahua Waiwai: Building a Foundation of Wealth, Opio Edition(c).


According to the Report, HCA and 138 trained Kahua Waiwai trainers across the state  acheived the following outcomes in serving Hawaii youth, 13 and older, through the program:

  • 930 youth were served with free Kahua Waiwai Youth Financial Education in their own communities
  • 233 youth participants reported an increase their career readiness by developing resumes and/or participating in job/career training
  • 181 youth participants reported an increase in positive financial habits by identifying savings goals and actively saving while enrolled in the program
  • 121 youth participants accessed asset building programs 

"First Nations is proud to support such a successful program and we are pleased with the outcomes of the report," stated Sarah Dewees, Senior Director of Research, Policy and Asset-Building Programs at First Nations Development Institute.  "Youth financial education programs are especially effective as they instill good financial behavior that can last a lifetime."


In support of the Report's release, Hawaii County Mayor, Billy Kenoi, issued a Proclamation recognizing April as Financial Literacy Month and calling on County residents to observe the month with education programs and events to improve their understanding of financial principles and practices.


For more information about HCA's Kahua Waiwai Youth Financial Education Program call (toll-free) 1.866.400.1116.

First Nations Logo 

HI County Logo 

Short Film Contest Attracts Financial Education Videos


Hawaiian Community Assets


Join the Challenge,

Submit Your Short Film Today!


See Contest Rules Below


Youth Film Contest 


NOTE HCA has changed its addresss to:

200 N Vineyard Boulevard, #A300

Honolulu, HI 96817

Invest in Our Next Generation


HCA Expands Leadership Team


HAWAII - HCA announced the expansion of its leadership team in April to manage its housing counseling and financial education programs.


DesireeDesiree Vea has been named Program Director responsible for directing the organization's Renter Program and AmeriCorps VISTA Project.  In her capacity as Program Director, Ms. Vea will also oversee staff development and operational compliance of HCA as a HUD-approved housing counseling agency.  She has been employed with HCA since October 2010 and has 4 years experience in nonprofit program development and implementation.  Ms. Vea is certified by NeighborWorks America to provide pre-purchase and post-purchase education workshops and pre-purchase homebuyer counseling.  She has been recognized as a Native Youth Champion of Change by the President Obama Administration and successfully served 2 terms as an AmeriCorps VISTA member to fight generational poverty in Hawaii.

Lahela HeadshotLahela Williams has been named Program Coordinator responsible for coordinating the organization's Financial Training Programs for youth and families.  In her capacity, Ms. Williams will coordinate delivery of financial training of youth and families residing in low- and moderate-income communities statewide and certification of community members as Kahua Waiwai Trainers.  She has been employed with HCA since September 2011 bringing with her experience in banking and youth leadership development.  Ms Williams is certified by NeighborWorks America to provide pre-purchase education workshops and homebuyer counseling and serves as a Board member of the Hawaii Jump$tart Financial Literacy Coalition and Kula No Na Poe Hawaii.


Kelly HeadshotKelly Lincoln has been named Program Coordinator responsible for coordinating the organization's Pre-Purchase Homebuyer Program.  In her capacity, Ms. Lincoln will coordinate HCA staff to deliver pre-purchase education and counseling to assist low- and moderate-income Hawaii families achieve the dream of homeownership.  She joined HCA in 2007 and has since gained experience in community development as Community Services Specialist with HCA and as the former President of the Panaewa Hawaiian Home Lands Community Association.  Ms Lincoln is certified by NeighborWorks America to provide pre-purchase education workshops and homebuyer and foreclosure prevention counseling as well as the IRS as a VITA tax preparer and site coordinator.


Sonja HeadshotSonja Gonzaga has been name Program Coordinator responsible for coordinating the organization's Foreclosure Prevention Program.  In her capacity, Ms. Gonzaga will coordinate HCA staff to deliver foreclosure prevention counseling to assist Hawaii homeowners prevent needless foreclosures.  She was hired by HCA in 2010 with 7 years experience in the mortgage lending industry.  She served 1 year as a Loan Officer with HCA's lending program, Hawaii Community Lending, before becoming a Community Services Specialst with HCA.  Ms. Gonzaga is certified by NeighborWorks America to provide pre-purchase education workshops and homebuyer and foreclosure prevention counseling.

Invest in Our Next Generation
UH West Oahu Contracts HCA to Bring Financial Education to 550 Waianae & Nanakuli Students
HAWAII - In October 2012, the University of Hawaii West Oahu (UH West Oahu) campus contracted HCA to provide Kahua Waiwai Youth Financial Education to students at Waianae and Nanakuli Intermediate schools through its 6-Year GEAR UP Project.  The GEAR UP Project is an initiative of the US Department of Education to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in post-secondary education by providing grants to states and partnerships to provide services at high-poverty middle and high schools.
In the Project's first year, HCA and Kahua Waiwai Trainers have served 550 students with place-based financial education by delivering monthly workshops which have covered modern and traditional economics, steps to obtain employment, employee benefits, gross vs net pay, and payroll taxes.
"What I like about the program is that (the Kahua Waiwai Trainers) come in and encourage us to think about our future and then help us make it real."
~ Hiilani 
"The things I like about this program is that the (Kahua Waiwai Trainers) get us ready for the future.  They tell us to make goals that are hard, but possible to meet like choosing the right college and what career we will try to get."
~ Justyn
For the next 5 years, HCA staff and Kahua Waiwai Trainers will follow the same students through graduation providing them with Kahua Waiwai Financial Education on spending and savings plans, banking, credit and credit reports, insurance and financial emergencies, filing taxes, paying for college, micro-business development, and renting versus buying a home.
"In the last couple of months (the Kahua Waiwai Trainers)  have built such a rapport with the students.  It's hard to believe its been such a short amount of time," said HCA Program Coordinator, Lahela Williams.  "I am excited to see what the next 5 years brings and how far we can go."


To help students apply learned financalil skills and to gain greater access to mainstream financial products and services, UH West Oahu and HCA have partnered to establish relationships with financial institutions such as American Savings Bank and Bank2.
For more information contact Ms. Williams at 808.587.7660 or via email at
Revive a Sustainable Path to Homeownership
Hawaii Family Finance Project Helps 59 HCA Families Purchase Homes, 90 Children Provided Stable Housing


Perreira Ohana - Homebuyer
Above - The Perreira Ohana from Big Island stands in front of their home after participating in the HFFP through HCA.
HAWAII - 59 families enrolled in the Hawaii Family Finance Project (HFFP) and receiving homebuyer education from HCA purchased homes between January 2011 and March 2013.  A total of 90 Hawaii children, ages 0-18, secured stable housing as a result of the home purchases

According to recent research by the Journal of Negro Education, Penn GSE Perspectives in Urban Education, and Center for Housing Policy, stable housing decreases the risk of poor school performance[1], increased behavioral problems[2], and negative health issues[3] of children into adulthood.

Using its place-based Kahua Waiwai: Building a Foundation of Wealth(c) homebuyer curriculum and family education model, HCA's HUD-certified staff work to engage the entire family in the process of purchasing a home.

"HCA was founded on a philosophy of kahua waiwai, which sees the home as a stable foundation that allows a family to share their cultural, spiritual, and financial wealth with future generations," says HCA Executive Director, Jeff Gilbreath.  "The Hawaii Family Finance Project has helped our families secure stable foundations by supporting free homebuyer education, volunteer tax preparation, and offering grants for down payment, closing costs, and debt reduction."


The HFFP is a 3-year, $3.1 million pilot project funded by the US  Department of Treasury and administered by the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement to increase the homeownership rate of low- and moderate-income Hawaii families.  Project partners HCA and Hawaii HomeOwnership Center provide free homebuyer education and counseling services to enrolled families statewide, while CNHA offers grants for down payment, closing costs, and debt reduction.

For more information or to enroll in the HFFP visit HawaiiFamilyFinance.Org.



[1] Rumberger, Russell, "The Causes and Consequences of Student Mobility", Journal of Negro Education. Vol 72, No. 1, pp. 6-21, (2003).


[2] Rhodes, Virginia, "Kids on the Move: The Effects of Student Mobility on NCLB School Accountability Ratings", Penn GSE Perspectives in Urban Education, Vol. 3, Issue 3 (Spring 2005).


[3] Lubell, Jeffrey, Rosalyn Crain, and Rebecca Cohen, "Framing the Issues - The Positive Impact of Affordable Housing on Health", Center for Housing Policy, Washington, DC (July 2007).

Invest in Our Next Generation


Young Leaders Join VISTA Project to Fight Poverty & Homelessness in Hawaii 


HAWAII - HCA is proud to welcome 3 new AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) members to the Building Stability in Housing Project


With a goal of increasing the number of Hawaii individuals and families able to secure and sustain affordable, permanent housing, the 3-year Project now has 6 young leaders placed at 3 different organizations across the State.


Marisa HeadshotMarisa Lopez was born in Seattle, Washington.  She comes to the Building Stability in Housing project with an understanding of housing barriers.  Experiencing homelessness herself, she has dedicated her life to housing issues.  Having volunteered with Kakaako Homeless Shelter and Habitat for Humanity's ReStore, she brings the knowledge of working with both homeless and pre-/post-purchase families.  In partnership with the Leeward Housing Coalition and on site with Waianae Community Outreach, Marisa will help build the coast's rapid re-housing model and training processes.  


Kahau MahoeKahaunani Mahoe-Thoene began volunteering with HCA in late 2012 as a Beneficiary Advocate for Lessees on Hawaiian Home Lands.  With a Bachelors Degree in Business Management and many years in community work counseling homeless and at-risk families, Kahau brings institutional knowledge as well as her compassionate heart to Hawaii's families.  Proud of her ancestry as a fourth generation Waimanalo Leasee, Kahau is dedicated to serving the Hawaiian Community now and for years to come.  As a VISTA she will continue to work in partnership with the Association of Hawaiians for Homestead Lands to establish a comprehensive program to assist Hawaiian Home Lands Beneficiaries prevent needless foreclosure and lease cancellation.

Miata Headshot Miata Lewis-Harriscame to join the HCA VISTA Team from St. Louis where she attended college at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.  There she received her bachelor's degree in Graphic Design.  From 2004 she successfully ran her own design company offering graphic design, marketing, and web design services.  In 2009 she switched gears and entered the world of property management.  In the housing field she found the perfect mixture of customer service, marketing, and helping others.  As a VISTA Miata will work to expand housing counseling and financial education programs on Hawaii Island through HCA's Hilo office.

Invest in Our Families
HCA Hilo Staff and Volunteers Assist 110Hawaii Island Families Claim Over $95k in Federal Tax Returns
HCA Hilo Tax StatsHILO - Through its Volunteers in Tax Assistance (VITA) program, 1 HCA staff member and 2 volunteers assisted 110 Hawaii Island families claim $95,448 in Federal tax returns between February and April 2013.
HCA Program Cooridnator, Kelly Lincoln has served as an IRS-certified tax preparer and VITA site coordinator for the last 4 years helping bring $429,600 back to 399 Hawaii Island families since 2010.
"Tax returns and credits for low-income workers help support many of our Hawaii Island families every year," said Lincoln.  "With low incomes and few available jobs, our families rely on Federal Tax Credits to make ends meet."
Hawaii Islands families claimed $41,379 in Earned Income Tax Credits during the tax season, while the amount of Education Tax Credits claimed by HCA clients increased significantly from last year to $11,119.
HCA's VITA site and volunteers are supported through the Hawaii Family Finance Project which provides funds for marketing, outreach, and volunteer support.
For more information about HCA's free tax prepration services, contact Ms. Lincoln at 808.934.0801 or via email at