“helping people... changing lives

We’re helping people, changing lives. You definitely can, too!

MEO is a nonprofit Community Action Agency committed to helping low income individuals and families become stable and achieve economic security. MEO’s services are constantly changing to meet the needs of children and families, the disabled and medically needy, and the elderly and other low-income individuals. MEO works with more than twenty-five community partners to help people and change lives. All MEO programs are tangible translations of the Promise of Community Action. Call us at 249-2990.

MEO Employment Opportunities here 

Update on Tropic Care 2018- Maui County  -  info sheet

click to view and read.


MEO Welcomes Nani Watanabe to our Community Services Department!

Youth Services -> "Here is our July Summer Program Calendar!"

Click to view and read

Project Backpack (Kiwanis Club of Valley Isle, benefitting MEO HeadStart)

Click to view and read

Press Release for Immediate Release

Press Contact:
  Debbi Amaral
  Director of Early Childhood Services
    Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc.
    Wailuku, HI
    (808) 249-2990, ext. 379

The Kiwanis Club of the Valley Isle is partnering with MEO Head Start for Project Backpack 2018 to collect donations of school supplies.  Supplies will be added to pre-purchased backpacks donated by the Kiwanis Club to be given to MEO Head Start keiki transitioning into kindergarten in August 2018.  The goal is to provide a backpack with supplies to 200 Head Start children to begin a successful start for school readiness.

The flier with details of donation drop off locations, dates and times is attached.  Donations of actual supplies or monetary donations are welcomed.

MEO Welcomes Christine Oliveira to our Business Devolopment Center!

MEO Welcomes Kea Hokoana-Gormley and Shayna-Marie Manlapao to our Youth Services Department!

Congratulations to Desiree Barut from Early Childhood Services for being our May 2018 Employee of the Month!

MEO Welcomes Kristen Sato and King Kaya to our Human Resources Department!

MEO Welcomes Alfredo Tasani, Roxanne Murayama, Earle Medeiros, Jr., Gene Keanini, and Karl Kriegermeier to our Transportation Department!

New Persons in Need Mobility Subsidy Program

This new program starts on August 1 to assist low-income disabled individuals who frequently use the ADA Paratransit service and would benefit from a monthly pass.
 -see attached flyer and application for details-



Completed applications must be returned to Jennifer McGurn for processing.
Eligible must pay $45.00 a month and CSBG will subsidize the balance.

For more information contact Jennifer McGurn at 808-249-2990

MNPD Seeking nominations for its Leadership Awards

*The Maui Nonprofit Directors Association is accepting nominations for the following awards:*

*Community Business Award*

Nominate an outstanding business that supports nonprofits

  • Evidence of financial support of philanthropic projects in Maui County
  • Impact of the gift
  • In-kind contributions to support a nonprofit
  • Evidence of encouraging and motivating its employees to take leadership roles and serve on boards and participate in community activities

*Humanitarian Award*

Nominate an outstanding individual who freely gives of time talent and treasure

  • Time, effort and financial commitment spent on philanthropic activities
  • Evidence of success in stewardship, recruiting, and motivating others

*Maui County’s Outstanding Nonprofit Executive Director *

Nominate an outstanding Nonprofit Executive Director

  • Leadership
  • Vision
  • Improving programs and services

Nominees and winners will be announced at the MNPD Annual Meeting and Leaderships Awards on Thursday, October 11, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center.

Nomination forms are due no later than Friday, September 13, 2018. Applications are available online at www.mauinonprofit.org. Completed applications can be mailed to:
  Maui Nonprofit Directors Association
  P.O. Box 1186
  Puunene, HI 96784
or emailed to mauinonprofit@gmail.com.
  For more information call Debbie Cabebe at 808-249-2990.

Immediate Press Release - Save the Date!   ***MARK YOUR CALENDARS***


Thursday, October 11, 2018 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center
One Cameron Way, Kahului, HI 96732
   $30.00 per person and MNPD members are free
   No host cocktails & light pupus will be served

The program will include
  * Installation of MNPD 2019 Officers
  * Legislator and legislative candidate forum
  * Recognition of the Humanitarian, Community Business and Executive Director of the Year

MEO Business Development Center

MEO BDC is proud to bring Core Four to the West Side.  We have offered this course to the Maui Community for 20 years.  The West Maui Core Four classes will be July 2nd to Aug 1st from 6pm to 9pm Mondays and Wednesdays at the UHMC Lahaina Education Center located at 60 Kenui St, Lahaina.

click to view flyer

If you have any questions, please let us know.
  249-2990 phone
  249-2991 fax

BDC Core Four Graduation - June 2018

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MEO Annual Report - Request for Proposal

Click to view and read

Molokai No Ka Heke Award

Notice for Paratransit Riders

Effective July 1, 2018
*Paratransit fares have changed*

New Fares:
  $45.00 disabled seniors (55 and older)
  $30.00 disabled students (with valid ID)
   $4.00 daily pass
   $2.00 per boarding
There will be no a monthly pass for disabled riders 54 and younger.

Congratulations to Sam Ceretto from Early Childhood Services for being our April 2018 Employee of the Month!

46th Annual Kupua Aloha Luncheon

We invite you to join us for the 46th Annual Kupuna Aloha Luncheon on Saturday, July 28, 2018 at the Grand Wailea Resort in the Grand Ballroom from 9am to 1pm. Featured entertainment is Nevah Too Late.

This event is a collaborative effort of the Maui County Senior Planning and Coordinating Council and Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. (MEO) to honor more than 500 of our Kupuna who have given of their time, talent and treasure to strengthen our community. Please join us and celebrate.
Individual lunch tickets may be purchased for $38.00 per person.

Display tables are available for incumbents and candidates seeking political office. The cost per table is for $150.00 and includes one (1) meal ticket; additional meal tickets may be purchased for $38.00 per person.

RSVP for a lunch ticket and/or display table no later than June 29, 2018

For more information you may contact: Annie Gilbert, P&CC President: (808) 344-3869 or Zilpah Kaimiola, P&CC Senior Coordinator at 243-4313 or 269-1058

Payment must be made in advance. No payment will be accepted at the door.
Make checks payable to:
99 Mahalani St.
Wailuku, Hi 96793
Indicate Kupuna Aloha Luncheon on the memo line of the check

Mahalo to all of the staff and Ohana for supporting the Charity Walk.

click to view gallery

Press Release for Immediate Release

Press Contact: Gay Sibonga
  COO, Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc.
  Wailuku, HI
  808) 249-2990, ext. 342

Maui Economic Opportunity Announces 2018 Aloha Kupuna Luncheon held July 28, 2018 at the Grand Wailea Hotel

Registration for participation by political candidates and incumbents, at the Annual Kupuna Aloha Luncheon to be held on Saturday, July 28, 2018 at the Grand Wailea Hotel is now being accepted.  Interested individuals must contact Zilpha Kaimiola at 243-4313 or zilpah.kaimiola@meoinc.org.   Deadline to participate is Friday, June 29, 2018

Click to view Aloha Kupuna Luncheon flyer...

Congratulations to Jeff Honokaupu from Transportation for being our March 2018
Employee of the Month!

BDC Core Four Graduation - April 2018

click to view album

Congradulations BDC Core Four Graduations Molokai and the Be Strategic Grad on Maui

Senior Scoop 2018​ 2nd Qtr - Click Here!

Congratulations to Taylor Smith from out Early childhood Services for being our February 2018
Employee of the Month!

Press Release for Immediate Release

Press Contact:  Debbie Cabebe, SPHR,
   CEO, Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc.
   Wailuku Maui, HI
   (808) 249-2990, ext. 300

MEO Bus Wash and Generator Blessing held March 29, 2018

MEO held a blessing for their new bus wash and generator at the transportation facility on March 29, 2018.  Both projects had been in the works for several years.  With the support of the State of Hawai’i and the County of Maui, the projects were finally completed and are now in use.

The bus wash will make the cleaning and maintenance of the bus fleet much more efficient and will save the staff a significant amount of time, along with extending the life of the fleet.  The new generator has already proven its use during the islandwide power outage in October, when it kicked in immediately, and seamlessly provided power to the facility so that needed transportation services would not be affected. 

Special thanks goes out to the following:  Governor David Ige, State House Finance Ways and Means Committee, Office of Community Services, Mayor Alan Arakawa, Maui County Council and the County of Maui Department of Transportation for their support in getting these projects funded and completed.  Several local businesses were also very important in the timely completion of these projects:  Despins General Construction, Inc., King Power Systems, Sturdevant Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Valley Isle Electric, Harmer Communications, Haller Landscape, Inc. and Island Signs. 

The blessing was performed by Reverend John Hau’oli Tomoso and many guests attended the blessing, including former Council Member Don Couch and former Council Member Mike Victorino, both of whom were part of the Council when funds were granted for these projects.

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For Immediate Release

Weatherization Assistance Program *WAP*

MEO (Maui Economic Opportunity) has announced the reintroduction of the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) which helps to reduce and improve energy efficiency for low income families, the elderly (60 and above), people with disabilities and families with children under 5 years of age. WAP was created in 1976 to assist families who lacked the resources to invest in energy efficiency.

Eligible households that are at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level...
(ie. Family of 4 = $56,580 annual) for Hawaii will receive a home energy assessment to evaluate and recommend energy savings measures. Energy saving measures may include installation of LED or CFL light bulbs, 18 cubic inch Energy Star refrigerators, smart power strips, low-flow faucets and shower heads at no cost to eligible households.

For additional information e-mail nicanor.saldino@meoinc.org or call 242-4366.

Media Release for Immediate Release

WAILUKU, MAUI (Hawaii) Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. (MEO) is announcing the return of the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP).  SFMNP provides low-income seniors with eligible fresh produce with the goal of improving their health and nutritional status.  Qualified seniors will receive coupons worth $50.00 to exchange for fresh, nutritious, and unprocessed locally grown fruits, vegetables, herbs and honey from Farmers’ Market of Maui in Kihei and Honokowai, Hana Fresh Farmers’ Market, Maui Fresh Farmers’ Market @ Queen Kaahumanu Center, Maui Nui Farmers’ Market on Lower Kula Road, Ono Farms Farmstand of Hana, UpCountry Farmers’ Market of Pukalani and Kula Country Farms.   The SFMNP coupons may be used from April 1st thru September 30th. 

Applications for the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program are available on-line (below) or from our Planning and Coordinating Council Senior Coordinator, Zilpah Kaimiola at Zilpah.Kaimiola@meoinc.org. For more information call Zilpah @ 243-4313.

Click to see and print

Press Release for Rotary Club of Kahului

The Rotary Club of Kahului Weinberg Friends Project was awarded to the Maui Economic Opportunity Inc. (MEO) Head Start program. Rotary Club of Kahului member and project coordinator, Jud Cunningham said, “Over 100 hours of volunteer time went into painting the interior of the classroom located at Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Center in Wailuku.” Known as the MEO Head Start Wailuku A center, volunteers from the Rotary Club of Kahului and several other Maui Rotary clubs generously gave their time on Saturday, January 27, 2018 to accomplish this project.

Fellow Rotarian and CEO of Ka Hale A Ke Ola Resource Center, Monique Yamashita said, “This project speaks to the remarkable and generous community we have on Maui. To see Rotarians come together for a day project that will have a long-lasting and positive effect for the preschoolers and staff at the MEO Head Start is beyond commendable, it’s highly impactful and tells us how compassionate and hard-working Rotary Clubs are in their service projects.”

Thanks to the generosity of the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, the Rotary Club of Kahului was able to direct of gift of $10,000 to MEO Head Start. Funding will be used to enhance quality early childhood curriculum  experiences for Head Start children served on Maui and Molokai.

MEO Head Start provides comprehensive preschool education services at no cost to eligible families. Program services are federally funded with extended day funding provided by the County of Maui. Applications are currently being accepted for the 2018-19 school year. Families with children turning three by July 31, 2018 are encouraged to apply. For more information, call the MEO Head Start office at 249-2988.

Press Release for Immediate Release

Press Contact:  Debbie Cabebe, SPHR,
   CEO, Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc.
   Wailuku Maui, HI
   (808) 249-2990, ext. 300

MEO’s First Annual Fundraiser Gala Held on March 3, 2018

Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. held their first annual fundraiser gala on Saturday, March 3, 2018 at the King Kamehameha Golf Club.  The theme this year was “Honoring Our Past, Supporting Our Future”.  All of MEO’s past executives were honored:  Elizabeth “Jonesie” Medeiros, Speaker Emeritus Joseph Souki, Paul Pladera, Gladys C. Baisa, Sandy Baz, and Lyn McNeff.  Current and former board chairs were in attendance to make the presentations.

Special guests included Governor David Ige, Senator Roz Baker, Representative Kyle Yamashita, Katie McMillan on behalf of US Representative Tulsi Gabbard, and Maui County council members Stacy Crivello, Don Guzman and Kelly King, along with other pillars of the Maui community.  Tony Takitani, Esq. was the emcee and Nevah Too Late provided entertainment for the evening.

MEO would like to thank our sponsors of the event:  Maui Electric (Sustainer); Atlas Insurance Agency (Partner); Advocate level sponsors included Alexander & Baldwin, ILWU Local 142 and Monsanto Hawaii; Supporter level sponsors; AlohaCare, AXA Advisors, Bank of Hawaii, Central Pacific Bank, Ecolane, Employers Options, First Hawaiian Bank, Goodfellow Bros., Inc., Hale Mahaolu, Hawaii Petroleum, Inc., Hawaii USA Federal Credit Union, IBEW Local 1186, Maui Soda & Ice Works, Randy Piltz, Soderholm Sales & Leasing, Torkildson, Katz, Hetherington, Harris & Knorek; and Ohana level sponsors:  Brown and Caldwell, EAH Housing, Patricia Mau-Shimizu, HEMIC, Laborers Int’l Union of North America Local 368, Marmac Ace Hardware, Inc., Maui Innovation Group, Inc., Playbook Consulting Group, Senator Roz Baker, Team Baisa and VIP Foodservice.  We could not do what we do – “helping people, changing lives”—without the generous support of our Maui community business leaders and our County, State and Federal government.

click pics to view gallery


Press Release for Immediate Release

Press Contact:
  Debbie Cabebe, SPHR
  CEO, Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc.
  (808) 249-2990, ext. 300

MEO’s Driver of the Year Named

MEO awarded its 2017 Driver of the Year Award to Gary “Gus” Dean.  This award is sponsored and presented annually by Atlas Insurance.  Gus exemplifies MEO’s core values and lives our motto every day – “Helping People, Changing Lives”.

Mr. Dean has been with the company since 2015 and also received the “Cash for No Crash” award, which is given to drivers who are not involved in any accidents during the calendar year.

Despite having some personal challenges, Mr. Dean always shows up for work on time, is the first to offer assistance to co-workers and clients, and always with a smile on his face. 

Congratuations Gus!

Mahalo to our Gala sponsors for a sold out event. We couldn’t full-fill our mission without your support. Mahalo to our entertainers, Nevah and Too Late, and to the King Kamehameha Golf Club.

Core Four Business Graduation - February 2018

Graduated another Core 4 Business Planning class. More people bringing local products and businesses to the community. If you are interested in learning more about the entrepreneurial training course you can call the Business Development Department at 249-2990.

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Mayor signing photo for Smoke-Free cars

Mayor Arakawa signed official ordinance PEA-41 Bill 6 to prohibit smoking in a vehicle when a minor is present has been signed into law by Mayor Arakawa! This law will go into effect on July 1, 2018, which gives us some time to educate the community about the ordinance and the dangers of SHS exposure to children in cars, as well as the $200 fine that will be implemented.

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Press Release for Immediate Release

Press Contact:
  Debbie Cabebe, SPHR
  CEO, Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc.
  (808) 249-2990, ext. 300

MEO’s 32nd Annual Volunteer Luncheon held February 14, 2018

MEO held their 32nd Annual Volunteer Luncheon on Valentine’s Day.  This event is held every year to honor and thank all of the many volunteers who assist MEO in their mission to serve the Maui community.

Over 100 guests attended the luncheon at MEO.  Lunch was provided by T-Ann-J’s Authentic Ramen & Catering and entertainment was provided by Danny Lau and the Lahaina Honolua Serenaders.

MEO recognized four nominees for 2017 Volunteer of the Year:  Troy Osorno was nominated by Early Childhood Services, Kelvin Alexander was nominated by Community Services, Randy Yamashita was nominated by Youth Services and Jacob Simons was nominated by the Business Development Center. 

Troy Osorno was awarded the 2017 Volunteer of the Year award.  Troy is a past parent of MEO Head Start and his daughter attended MEO’s Head Start program years ago.  Troy was a single parent raising his daughter while attending college to become a radiologist.  Troy achieved that goal and is now employed as an x-ray technician.  Troy now volunteers for the Head Start centers by coming into the classrooms and doing an interactive presentation with the kids.  He uses real x-rays and talks about MRI, CT and ultrasound, while providing a previous of various props that children can safely manipulate, including a skeleton he has named “Skelereena”, which the children love.  Troy Osorno is an excellent example of giving back to the community that once helped him and his daughter succeed.

MEO also recognized their 2017 Benefactor of the Year, given to businesses who contribute time and resources to assist MEO with their mission.  Despins General Contracting, Inc. was the awardee for 2017.  Despins has donated countless hours of time and in kind work totaling more than $100,000 to make sure that MEO did not go over budget on their bus wash project.

Mahalo to our Molokai Volunteers!

Congratulations to Terry Sato from our Fiscal Department for being our December Employee of the Month!

Terry Sato - January Employee of the Month!

CEO Debbie Cabebe visits Capitol Hill with Melissa ​Unemori-Hampe

MEO ​teamed up with Hale Mahaolu and some of our kupuna to attend the 2018 Legislative Opening Day in Honolulu yesterday. They had a chance to speak with some of our representatives and share their concerns and hopes for our community. Thank you to all who took the time to meet with us!

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Mahalo nui loa to ILWU Local 142 for being our first Advocate level sponsor for our March 3, 2018 Annual Gala "Honoring Our Past, Supporting Our Future." We truly appreciate the support!

PRESS RELEASE - Jan 3, 2018

Project Graduation 2018 funding is available to all Maui County public and private high schools

MEO (Maui Economic Opportunity) has announced $41,000.00 in Maui County funding has been made available for Project Graduation Programs for 2018 high school graduating classes in an effort to promote alcohol and drug free graduation celebrations.

Community Needs and Assessment Action Plan

Click and Read..

Proposed State Plan for the CSBG for FFY 2018 & 2019

MEO is Helping People. Changing Lives thanks to a rental assistance grant from the County of Maui Department Housing and Human Concerns.

A 60 year old woman with mental challenges came to the MEO Molokai office for assistance. She was homeless for the past three years, sleeping on friend's couches, in her car, or camping on people's yards. Her only source of income is Social Security and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Working with the Molokai staff she was able to set up a budget that would allow her to pay for an electric and gas deposit and her first months rent. MEO's rental assistance program provided the needed funds to pay for the rental deposit. This allowed her to move into Public Housing. She will continue to meet with her case manager to help her maintain her budget and remain in her new rental She feels safe for the first time in many years and is very grateful to the County and MEO for the assistance. .


More of MEO Actions found here...

MEO provides the tools to help people and change lives with programs offered through five departments:

The BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER assists small business entrepreneurs with business plan training, credit assessment, and micro-loans for startup and expansion.

COMMUNITY SERVICES provides a wide array of services including rental subsidy, employment training and job placement, Enlace Hispano (Hispanic Link), weatherization and energy assistance, senior club coordination, prisoner reintegration, Hawaiian agricultural workshops, BEST Reintegration, Ke Kahua farm and more.

EARLY CHILDHOOD SERVICES provides quality infant care and early childhood education, offering toddlers a Head Start toward a better education and a better life.

The TRANSPORTATION Department provides rides to the doctor, to work, to school, to adult day care, for necessary shopping, and for other needs with both standard and wheelchair lift-equipped vehicles.

The YOUTH SERVICES Department provides youth with assistance to succeed in school and life through fun-filled opportunities to learn life skills, prepare for the workforce, and serve the community. The prevention of underage drinking, substance abuse, tobacco use, teenage pregnancy, and teenage suicide is consistently blended with youth program activities.

MEO is dedicated to providing tools for living, for earning, for self-reliance, and for community involvement. All programs are designed with the underlying belief that instead of giving people a fish, it is better to teach them how to fish for themselves.

Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. (MEO), chartered on March 22, 1965 is a private non-profit Community Action Agency. The current annual operating budget is $17 million dollars. MEO provides outreach and information, and administers human service programs to low-income persons, the youth, elderly, immigrants, ex-offenders, persons with disabilities and medical needs, and other disadvantaged individuals and families on the islands of Maui, Molokai and Lanai. The agency was organized as a Community Action Agency under the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 to strengthen and coordinate efforts to eliminate poverty by providing opportunities in education, employment and training, transportation and other areas to help people, help themselves.

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Who we are

Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. (MEO), chartered on March 22, 1965 is a private non-profit Community Action Agency. The current annual operating budget is $17 million dollars. MEO provides outreach and information, and administers human service programs to low-income persons, the youth, elderly, immigrants, ex-offenders, persons with disabilities and medical needs...


99 Mahalani St, Wailuku HI 96793

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