We are a volunteer network, with a steering committee of houseless and housed members.
Twinkle Borge is the leader of Puʻuhonua O Waiʻanae, a village of 250 people living unhoused at the Waianae Boat Harbor. She has organized her village into a powerful asset for the wider community. In addition to offering safety, healing, and purpose for unhoused people, the village also serves Waianae in a variety of ways, including conducting regular cleanups across the Waiʻanae Coast, feeding and clothing residents of other houseless encampments, and distributing back-to-school supplies each year to both houseless and housed families in need. In 2018, Twinkle and others led an effort to defend the village from the threat of State eviction, then spent
the next year and a half raising funds to purchase land that the village could relocate to. In 2020, Twinkle and the village completed the purchase of 20 acres in Waiʻanae Valley for their permanent home. They are now working on construction.
Lindsay is a co-founder and leader of Ka Poʻe O Kakaʻako (KPOK), a group of houseless people who organized in in Kakaʻako Gateway Park, in 2019. Through a weekly park cleanup and other service projects, KPOK earned the respect of many housed neighbors, area businesses, and at the Neighborhood Board, where KPOK became a valued voice. Lindsay and other KPOK leaders are now spearheading an effort to find land for a kauhale (affordable, village style housing) to serve as a permanent home for those who remain houseless in urban Honolulu. After many years on the street, Lindsay got housed in May 2020, re-enrolled herself in college, and is now pursuing a degree in Social Work, while continuing to conduct outreach and advocacy for those who remain still houseless.
James P. is the founding President of Dynamic Community Solutions, the nonprofit created by and for the people of Puʻuhonua O Waiʻanae (POW). He led efforts to create DCS and establish it as a tax-exempt corporation, launched DCS’s website and social media presence. He currently supports village programs, and works to build relationships with government, funders, and community on behalf of POW. He also manages the development of prototype homes at POW Farm Village. In 2020, he was named an Affordable Hawaii for All Fellow – among a dozen emerging leaders who are champions of creating affordable homes and communities for Hawaiʻi residents.
James K. is a co-founder of Hui Aloha. He made his first connections with houseless folks by pitching a tent in Kakaʻako in the summer of 2015. Through those friends, he met houseless leaders from other parts of the island, including Twinkle Borge from Puʻuhonua O Waiʻanae, and has spent the last 5 years building relationships with people on the street. He has 20 years of experience as a nonprofit executive, public policy consultant, and community-builder. Prior to Hui Aloha, he was the Executive Director of Kanu Hawaii, a local nonprofit focused on environmental sustainability. Before that, his focus was community development finance in inner cities across the Northeastern U.S. He was born and raised in Hawaiʻi, and earned degrees from Brown University and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Cathy is a founding member of Hui Aloha, an educator, and life-long learner. Her connections to houseless communities began about 11 years ago when working with youth living in homeless shelters and on the streets in Kakaʻako. It began with a simple question from a houseless youth who said, “I’m tired of being everybody’s service project. Why can’t I do a service project of my own?” This connection led to a film collaboratively created by unhoused and housed teens about houselessness from the perspectives of our youth. Cathy finds purpose and joy in getting to know people in our diverse communities, growing relationships, identifying shared goals, and working collaboratively to build communities grounded in aloha.
Alani had his first deep encounter with homelessness back in 2010, when he endeavored to go homeless for as long as he could. He didnʻt last three days before he literally couldnʻt walk any more for lack of food and enough water. It was a deeply impactful journey, short though it was, which gave him first-hand experience of how we dehumanize, instantly judge, and humiliate those we percieve as experiencing homelessness. Although he has volunteered and worked in all the areas that Hui Aloha has been involved with, he developed strong connections to, and aloha for, the Kakaʻako community and has concentrated his efforts with Ka Poʻe o Kakaʻako.
Jadie Iijima Geil (she/they)
Volunteering with Hui Aloha has changed Jadie’s life. After reading about aunty Twinkle’s village in the news, they reached out to Hui Aloha and found themself welcomed with open arms. Now they’re on the opposite side of the equation, working in the communications committee to make Puʻuhonua O Waiʻanae a household name. They find great value in participating in outreach activities that bridge the divide between houseless and housed, and hope to facilitate more such opportunities in the future. Although she was born and raised in Hawaiʻi, it is through working with Hui Aloha that Jadie has come to call this place home.
Michael is a founding member of Hui Aloha and has been particularly focused on resolving the artificial sense of separation that fuels our present world's inequities and despair. With a deep held belief that Hawaii is the best place in the world, he is constantly on the lookout for opportunities to support and grow the places where aloha thrives no matter the circumstances with Puʻuhonua O Waiʻanae being a shining example. He has a professional background in design and architecture with a focus on creative affordable housing solutions.
Jennifer has been a volunteer with Hui Aloha since 2018. She feels privileged to have learned many lessons about community, housing, and belonging to place from Hui Aloha members and Ka Po‘e o Kaka‘ako. She strives to honor and pass on these lessons in her work as an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa where she does research and teaching on issues related to housing, community, and social inequality, and where she is also active in the University’s Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation initiative. She has recently begun to collaborate with Hui Aloha and Ka Po‘e o Kaka‘ako on community-based participatory research and is excited about helping to make sure the voices of those with direct experiences of houselessness are heard in policy debates. She is mom of two daughters, who also regularly volunteer with Hui Aloha. She was born and raised on O‘ahu and, aside from nearly 15 years living in the Northeastern U.S., has resided in the moku of Kona on O‘ahu.
Kaimana has been helping document the work of Ka Poʻe O Kakaʻako and Puʻuhonua O Waiʻanae on behalf of Hui Aloha since 2017. He serves to amplify the voices of marginalized communities and their efforts in navigating to a better place.