Alumni Stories

Dear Friends,

As we come to the end of 2021, I would like to let you know how much we appreciate your support for RYSE- whether you donated items, made a contribution, read our newsletter or just liked a Facebook post. It takes a community to help our street youth and all your caring and interest matters. This year through our street outreach, shelter and housing programs, we were able to help over 400 opportunity youth with shelter, hot meals, education, medical and behavioral health care, and hope, despite a pandemic. We will always continue the work to end youth homelessness.

I am extremely humbled by our outstanding staff who have worked with unwavering passion through the pandemic. Day in and day out, our youth care counselors, outreach workers, case managers, program managers, and site coordinators have worked to ensure a safe place for youth. I am also proud to share that 100% of our staff are Covid-vaccinated. Health and safety is a part of ending the cycle of homelessness and we are committed to keeping our youth safe physically, mentally, and emotionally.

I am happy and excited to announce that with your help, we were able to raise $206,090 in November for RYSE Up! 2021, our annual fundraiser. While we had to pivot the event from an in-person party to a virtual one, the support remained strong. I have to acknowledge Dana Matlin of our Board of Directors and Kim Coco Iwamoto, Event Chair, for their dedication to ensure a fantastic and meaningful virtual event. With the event funds, we are able to ensure all our shelter operations for another year.

2022 promises to be another action-filled year for RYSE. Led by Partners In Development Foundation, and in collaboration with Kawailoa Youth and Family Wellness Center, UCLA Asian American Studies Center, UH John A. Burns School of Medicine, Kamehameha Schools, and Lili‘uokalani Trust, the Kawailoa: A Transformative Indigenous Model to End Youth Incarceration in Hawai’i and Beyond project is one of ten W.K. Kellogg Foundation Racial Equity Challenge Grant finalists. The finalists will be announced in the summer, with awards ranging from $10 million to $16 million dollars. We are now doing eight months of capacity building to further develop the proposed project. We are also completing the process of purchasing a property on Oahu’s Leeward Side to shelter and serve youth across the island. There’s much more to come, and I’m so grateful we are able to continue to help our youth with you. Mahalo for your support.

Wishing you a safe and sheltered holiday season, and warmest aloha,

Carla Houser

Our News

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RYSE Youth and Moanalua High School Collaborate on New Art Exhibit at the Hawaii State Art Museum

Two Hawaii organizations are finalists in national challenge

"Two Hawaii organizations have the chance to win $100,000 in funding as part of a national challenge. Startup accelerator FoundHer and nonprofit Residential Youth Services and Empowerment, or RYSE, are both finalists in the 2022 Gold Futures Challenge. The annual...

More Help Is Coming For Hawaii’s Homeless Youth

Act 130, recently signed into law, establishes the Safe Spaces for Youth Pilot Program under the Department of Human Services. "At 2 p.m. on a Friday afternoon, teenagers at the Residential Youth Services and Empowerment program have just finished their music therapy...


RYSE values diversity, equity and inclusion as vital to our mission to provide a continuum of services that empowers Hawaii’s street youth to move beyond homelessness. We believe that all people deserve to be shown respect, treated fairly, and included. We celebrate...

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Equity Sub-Report

Equity is an important lens in developing responsive programs that address health and social disparities. This report looks at differences in outcomes by race, gender and sexual orientation. Statistical analyses are available upon request to University of Hawaii Manoa...

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RYSE Direct Cash Transfer Pilot Program

As someone exits homelessness, there are many unexpected costs that make it challenging to move forward. As one RYSE youth put it: "RYSE was able to help me get an apartment of my own when I had nothing." One way to help set youth up for success as they move into...

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Volunteer Opportunities

Do you know an architect? We have an upcoming project involving adding more age-appropriate housing inventory (!!) and are looking for an architect to help with planning and design. If you are interested or know someone who may be, please get in touch! Email...

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Point In Time Count 2022

Oahu’s annual Point In Time Count (PITC), conducted by Partners In Care, usually occurs in the end of January, but due to COVID surges, has been rescheduled to take place on Thursday, March 10th from 6am to 11am. The Point in Time Count is a federally mandated census...

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RYSE Field Trips

At RYSE, we provide a continuum of support that empowers Hawaii’s street youth to move beyond homelessness. We believe in walking alongside youth in their journey and meeting them where they are, while providing unconditional positive regard. Besides providing...

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