Volunteers give Institute for Human Services a makeover

Published On: Jul 13 2013 07:29:29 PM HST

What began as what the founder called a "peanut butter ministry" has grown into a service that helps more than 300 people and feeds up to 700 meals a day.

On this 35th anniversary, the Institute for Human Services celebrated with a make-over and a plan to expand.

More than three decades of working to end the cycle of homelessness certainly has taken its toll on the IHS.

It’s why more than 250 volunteers turned out to donate some much needed TLC.

Members of the Iron Order Motorcycle Club welded, sawed and painted the IHS delivery truck.

“We’re replacing all the wood for the flatbed truck and all the hardware that comes with it,” said Tony Blackman. “It’s just making the truck look better.”

This day of service is a way of honoring IHS founder, Rev. Claude Du Teil.

“He just wanted to help anybody that needed help. He wouldn’t want to categorize people,” said Bob Du Teil, the founder’s son.

Thirty members of the Du Teil family were here to further his legacy to help those not with a hand out, but a hand up.

“I’m very proud of my great grandfather,” said 9-year-old Maxwell Doolittle.

Despite budget cuts, IHS has managed to help more than 5,000 people through its two shelters and employment and housing service center.

But with the need to help the homeless greater than ever, IHS is expanding.

The agency plans to open an emergency shelter for veterans next month in Kalihi.

“We’re looking at a short-term stay there also, so it’s people that are going from HIS out into the community,” said Connie Mitchell, IHS executive director.

The agency also is hoping to grow its housing and employment service to help those in need before they end up at one of their shelters.

“In other words, maybe people who are going to lose their housing. They can call up someone and that person can direct them to services that would maybe help with back rent or a deposit for a next place to go,” said Mitchell.

On Tuesday, IHS will be dedicating its job training center at the Kaaahi service center, where clients can learn job skills and get help applying for employment.


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