Expanding on Our Success

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Hiring Homesteaders and Native Hawaiians Across the State

Thanks to a generous grant from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA), the Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homeland Association’s (SCHHA) Homestead Community Development Corporation (HCDC) is rolling out a statewide Residential Employment Living Improvement (RELI) project designed to provide experiential employment opportunities for nearly 100 Native Hawaiians across the state.

This new project is based on our successful 2020 pilot project that involved 40 participants and deployed over $300,000 into Native Hawaiian households. We are building on this success to further benefit the lāhui.

Individual participants across the state will be able to select a grassroot community organization they want to work for and commit to up to 120 days of service.

The organization will provide training of the participant in exchange for reimbursement of the individual’s pay, fringe benefits, and payroll fees – a financially risk-free opportunity for the organization, and a living wage plus experiential employment opportunity for the participant. RELI gives both parties the chance to “try each other out” before committing long-term.

The RELI project was designed to address out-migration of Native Hawaiians and the need to provide our people with fulfilling careers. Our target group is 18- to 35-year-olds seeking employment aligned with Hawaiian values and community service. We hope to inspire young Hawaiians to reconsider moving away by creating access to fulfilling employment opportunities in our own grassroots community organizations.

Through RELI we are advancing OHA’s long-term community economic stability goal of “Native Hawaiians experiencing rewarding work serving in Native Hawaiian organizations” by creating opportunities for individuals seeking low-risk ways to explore new career paths that directly serve our lāhui.

We are also providing direct, hands-on, front-line experiences without putting participants’ existing employment at risk and, in the case of unemployed or underemployed participants, by providing opportunities to explore new and meaningful careers across our pae ʻāina. We are positioned to help participants identify opportunities that may lead to part-time or full-time employment in numerous fields.

RELI participants will have access to informational sessions about major Native Hawaiian organizations such as OHA, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL), aliʻi trusts, Hawaiian Civic Clubs and Hawaiian Homestead Associations to better understand the work of Native Hawaiian-serving organizations. And, they will have access to personal training sessions on both financial wellbeing and housing finance.

SCHHA is calling on all Homestead Beneficiary Associations across the state to consider this opportunity to support your homestead projects and build capacity in your associations.

Additionally, we’re calling on individuals with the skills and time to work with the leadership of your respective homestead associations to formulate work plans. For more information contact us at info@hawaiianhomesteads.org.