Maui Business

MEO Receives $250,000 Grant from OHA for Inmate Programs

May 27, 2011, 10:34 AM HST
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OHA grant recipients accept check. Photo courtesy of OHA.

By Sonia Isotov

The Board of Trustees for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs today announced the awarding of $4.3 million over two years to 12 community-based organizations.

Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. (MEO) will receive $250,000 for a job-training and counseling program on Maui designed to reduce the recidivism rate and give inmates hope for their future. The program will serve about 700 Native Hawaiians. MEO was the only Maui non-profit to receive funds under this program.

Organizations were selected based on their ability to providing a variety of services critical to carrying out priorities in OHA’s strategic plans for improving education, reducing health threats and raising family-income levels among Native Hawaiians.

OHA estimates that 13,000 Native Hawaiians are expected to directly benefit from the programs, according to a statement released by the organization today. Each organization will receive between $150,000 and $724,280 over the next two years.

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“These organizations are offering outreach programs that complement our efforts to improve conditions for Native Hawaiians,” said OHA Chairperson Colette Machado. “I applaud them for their commitment to helping Native Hawaiians not only build wealth and knowledge, but improve their education.” 

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Features of these programs include helping to ensure that employers have the skilled Native Hawaiian workers they need to foster economic growth. Among other highlights are helping troubled teens, broadening access to early childhood education, and providing financial resources to assist with such matters as money management, wealth building and credit counseling.

“All of these programs will have a positive effect on the lives of Native Hawaiians,” said OHA Chief Executive Officer Clyde W. Namuo. “These grants are an investment in our community and we thank our partners for their dedication and their hard work in making a real difference in the Native Hawaiian community.”

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