Women Helping Women’s facility renovated

The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo
The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Former Women Helping Women client Lei Rosa (photo at right) is bracketed by the agency’s executive director, Stacey Moniz (right), and deputy director, Sanoe Ka’aihue, on Thursday afternoon while sharing her story with guests to the recently renovated facility. “It’s an awesome program,” the mother of four said. “They made us feel comfortable. They made us feel safe. I’m really thankful for this program. We’re doing a lot better.” Women Helping Women was founded on Maui in 1977. Moniz said that the agency, which provides housing and support services women, families and men in domestic crisis, moved to the current facility in 1981. The first renovation received a boost in 1997 when the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye visited and stepped through a hole in the floor. Last year, a group of volunteers, philanthropists and businesses renovated the shelter with welcoming plantation-style decor, a remodeled kitchen and upgraded grounds. “This is the heart of the whole house,” said Ka’aihue (right, second photo) while hosting guests in the shelter’s kitchen Thursday. “This is a place of healing.” Moniz said that her staff is ready to help 24-7. “The phone gets answered any day, any time,” she said. “Every day we see a woman in crisis. This is a no-turn-away shelter. We’ll make space no matter what.” Among the visitors to the open house Thursday were a trio of representatives from Pulama Lana’i, which is scheduled to assist Women Helping Women in opening a new shelter on Lanai.

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