Our Mission and Vision

Our mission is to provide a continuum of support that empowers Hawaii’s street youth to move beyond homelessness. We envision a community where there is no youth homelessness.

Racial Equity 2030

We are pleased to announce that “Kawailoa: a transformative indigenous model to replace youth incarceration,” under Partners In Development Foundation, was awarded a $20m grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Lever For Change. The project aims to replace youth incarceration with a Native Hawaiian restorative system.

About RYSE

Residential Youth Services and Empowerment is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization operating a youth access center and shelter services in Kailua, Oahu. From 8am to 8pm seven days a week, youth ages 14–24 can use our drop-in services free of charge. Our goal is to provide safety and help youth get off the streets, so that they can live and thrive as healthy, happy young adults.

Programs & Services

Shelter and Housing

RYSE operates 1 emergency housing shelter and 7 housing programs for youth ages 18-24 on the island of Oahu. 

Medical Clinic & Behavioral Health

RYSE supports youth with medical appointments and testing, along with courses and counseling to promote mental wellness.

Education & Employment

RYSE provides education and employment counseling, GED classes, driver license help, financial literacy courses, and more.

Outreach & Diversion

RYSE operates  a mobile outreach team available 24/7 to reach youth where they are, when they need help. Call/ text 808-861-6606.

Access Center at Kawailoa

RYSE’s Kawailoa Access Center is open daily 8am-8pm, offering  food, hot meals, showers, laundry, WiFi, hygiene supplies,  & more.

2023 Annual Report: Empowering Hawaii's Youth

Message from the Executive Director

I am honored to share the Residential Youth Services & Empowerment (RYSE) annual report, showcasing a year of significant growth and impact in our mission to support and empower the youth in our community. Throughout 2023, RYSE has made substantial strides in expanding our housing inventory, investing in our dedicated and growing team, and striving to meet the increasing demand for behavioral health support.

Housing & Shelter

The RYSE Housing Department showcased a steadfast commitment to innovative youth housing solutions, ongoing enhancements, and strategic foresight. The successful launch of the ‘Apapane Sober Living House’ catering to 18-24-year-olds,

was made possible through State Grant in Aid funding. Staffing enhancements, including the addition of Youth Care Counselors and Site Coordinators, reflect our dedication to professional development and service improvement.

Youth Outreach

The RYSE Street Outreach team conducts hundreds of days of community engagement annually, ensuring support reaches our youth in need. With our 24/7 mobile crisis outreach line, we provide immediate assistance during housing emergencies, meeting youth wherever they are.

Bi-monthly pop-up events offer essential services and supplies across the island, bolstered by collaborations with community organizations. The Mobile Crisis Outreach van goes beyond refreshments, providing vital items like hygiene products, first-aid kits, and clothing, fostering trust with youth.

Edcuation & Employment

RYSE offers diverse programs to support youth transitioning into adulthood, led by our experienced Education & Employment team. Individualized counseling sessions are tailored to each of our client’s needs. Educational initiatives encompass on-site GED training, high school re-enrollment assistance, driver’s license support, college application guidance, peer outreach, and financial literacy education. Our group therapy sessions cover smart recovery, art therapy, improvisation, poetry, meditation, yoga, and anger management. For employment, we provide paid internships and vocational training in construction, nursing, sustainable farming, and social services.


Our Diversion Program is dedicated to steering youth away from homelessness, incarceration, and repeat offenses by providing comprehensive support. Through partnerships with community groups, the Hawaii State Judiciary, and law enforcement, we conduct in-reach initiatives to jails, prisons, and mental health facilities. We offer transportation assistance, advocate during court hearings, facilitate probation, and provide access to legal counsel as needed. The RYSE Diversion team is continuously growing, making a deeper impact within the community. As we welcomed 43 new clients in 2023, our Diversion team rose to meet the increasing demand while remaining dedicated to offering comprehensive support.

Behavioral Health

In 2023, our Behavioral Health Department rose to the challenge of increasing demand for youth mental health services. We expanded our team by adding five new staff members, including Behavioral Health Counselors and a Substance Abuse Counselor, to better serve our community. Collaboration with Kaiser Permanente, Castle Hospital, and Queens Medical Center ensured smooth transitions for clients requiring care. Contracts with all five Medicaid plans underscored our commitment to reaching those in need with essential services. Furthermore, our dedication to meeting youth where they are in their journey towards mental wellness was evident in the extension of operating hours at our Kawailoa shelter. This initiative reflects our unwavering commitment to supporting the holistic well-being of our community’s youth

Empowering Change

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to each of you for your contributions to RYSE. Your support, whether from Federal and City & State entities or our generous private donors, has made an indelible impact on our organization and, most importantly, on the lives of our vulnerable youth.

Together, we all RYSE.

RYSE Hawaii Team

RYSE Hawaii Graduates

How You Can Help

Together, we can end the cycle of homelessness. We appreciate your support, particularly during this global pandemic that has put a strain on all of us. Even small contributions have a major impact at our organization, and we thank you for considering a donation when you are able to.