“helping people... changing lives


Hawaii Emergency Laulima Partnership

Sponsored by the County of Maui and in Partnership with MEO

Click here for information and to apply for financial assistance for Maui County residents to pay for essential needs due to a layoff, reduction in hours, or loss of income related to COVID-19. La aplicación está disponible en español.


Mayor Michael Victorino holds a press conference to discuss Maui County's response efforts to fight the spread of coronavirus - click for video

NEW - Face Masks with old Uniforms! As Mayor stated, "Better than nothing"

** UPDATE **

For Client and Staff Health and Safety MEO Office will be closed to all in person traffic except by appointment

Effective Wednesday, March 25 at midnight, MEO will be closed to all in-person traffic to our facilities.  However, staff will be available by phone, email or in-person by appointment ONLY.

Please stay home and email info@meoinc.org to discuss your individual needs and we will contact you.

If you do not have the ability to email us, to minimize your hold time, please contact the department you need assistance from directly and only contact the Administration office if you are not sure who to contact.  We will do our best to respond before the end of business on the day that you call.

  • Administration Office- 249-2990
  • Community Services- 249-2970
  • Enlace Hispano- 249-2993
  • Early Childhood Services- 249-2988
  • Business Development Center- 249-2990
  • B.E.S.T. Reintegration- 249-2970
  • Youth Services- 249-2990
  • Transportation- 877-7651
  • Hana- 248-8282
  • Lana’i- 808- 565-6665
  • Moloka'i- 808-553-3216

Press Release for Immediate Release

MEO continues to Help People. Change Lives

March 22, 2020 marks 55 years since MEO was established and was designated as Maui County’s antipoverty agency.

We had planned many community and employee activities and events to celebrate this milestone. However, in response to the current national crisis, we are postponing these activities and events until later in the year and are focusing on keeping our staff safe, while meeting the needs of the people we serve.

Effective, Monday, March 23 all staff (except for Kahi Kamali’i Toddler Center and Head Start teaching staff) will work a three-day staggered workweek to minimize the risk of exposure and support social distancing. All MEO offices will remain open during normal business hours to allow us to quickly respond to urgent needs, such as essential transportation to and from dialysis and necessary medical appointments, and shopping for food and medicine, toddler care for essential workers, and has limited funds for emergency assistance to pay for rent and for essential food.

Kahi Kamali’Ii is open during regular hours of operation Monday through Thursday to serve working families and will close at noon on Fridays to allow for deep cleaning. All Head Start remains closed in conjunction with the DOE.

To keep everyone safe, as much as possible, we discourage in-person visits to our facilities. Please stay home and email info@meoinc.org to discuss your individual needs and we will contact you. We are also contacting all current clients to determine need and provide assistance when possible.

If you do not have the ability to email us, to minimize your hold time, please contact the department you need assistance from directly and only contact the Administration office if you are not sure who to contact. We will do our best to respond before the end of business on the day that you call.

Administration Office- 249-2990

Community Services- 249-2970

Enlace Hispano- 249-2993

Early Childhood Services- 249-2988

Business Development Center- 249-2990

B.E.S.T. Reintegration- 249-2970

Youth Services- 249-2990

Transportation- 877-7651

Hana- 248-8282

Lana’i- 808-565-6665

Moloka'i- 808-553-3216

For more information, contact Debbie Cabebe at debbie.cabebe@meoinc.org or call at 243-4300, or Gay Sibonga at gay.sibonga@meoinc.org or call 243-4342.

Aloha MEO Ohana,

We realize that everyone is experiencing challenges in various ways due to our current health crisis. Our MEO Head Start centers are closed this week for Spring Break and again next week to follow the Department of Education schedule. Future closing is uncertain and we are making plans to support Head Start families in creative ways. Food insecurity is one area of need identified and this food drive is intended to provide some relief for those needing assistance.

If you have food items that you can share from the list below, please deliver to the MEO Head Start office between the hours of 8 am - 3 pm - Monday thru Friday (we will be closed on Thurs, March 26 for Prince Kuhio Day).
Please leave food items in boxes or packages outside the MEO Head Start office to maintain social distancing in keeping you and your loved ones safe and healthy.

Any donation is helpful and sincerely appreciated! Here's a list of non-perishable items that you can select from:

  1. canned beans
  2. peanut butter, or other nut butters
  3. boxes or packaged crackers
  4. instant rolled oats
  5. canned fruit in juice, not in light or heavy syrup
  6. canned vegetables, with no or low-sodium
  7. canned soups
  8. canned tuna
  9. canned chicken
  10. brown or white rice
  11. nuts
  12. shelf stable milk (example: soy milk)
  13. pasta
  14. pasta sauce
  15. microwave popcorn
  16. canned stews
  17. applesauce
  18. whole grain, low-sugar cold cereals
  19. olive or canola oil
  20. canned tomatoes
  21. dried fruits
  22. chicken, beef and vegetable broths and stock
  23. Spam - low sodium options

Wishing you and your ohana continued health, safety and wellness! With sincere gratitude and appreciation for your dedicated services that impact kupuna, families, youth and children, Debbi and the Early Childhood Services department staff  ❤ ❤

MEO Annual Gala Postponed

MEO is dedicated to the personal safety of the community, partners, and staff. As a precautionary measure concerning COVID-19, the MEO Annual Gala has been postponed, with the new date and time to be announced.


Access is closely monitoring the Coronavirus COVID-19 public health crisis and is engaging in proactive steps to ensure that we protect our riders, contractors and employees. Riders are reminded to:

  1. refrain from unnecessary travel if you are sick,
  2. cover your coughs and sneezes, and
  3. wash hands frequently with soap and warm water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Congratulations to Bishop Pahia, MEO's January 2020 Employee of the Month!

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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 Driver of the Year Named

MEO awarded its 2019 Driver of the Year Award to Marvin DeCastro.  This award is sponsored and presented annually by Atlas Insurance.  Marvin exemplifies MEO’s core values and lives our motto every day – “Helping People, Changing Lives”.

Mr. DeCastro has been with the company since 2007 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.  Mr. DeCastro has never had an accident in the 12 years since working for Maui Economic Opporunity.

Congratuations Marvin!

MEO Welcomes Megan Malia Mathias to our Transportation Department

Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program 2020

click to open application

MEO Welcomes Renee M. Moyer to our Fiscal Department

MEO Welcomes Veronica Jachowski to our Community Services Department

MEO Welcomes Kelly Byrne to our ECS / Head Start Department

MEO 2019 Awards Ceremony

Scroll down for full gallery

MEO Volunteer of the Year - Ned Davis

MEO 2019 Volunteer of the Year, Ned Davis

MEO 2019 Benefactors of the Year

MEO 2019 Benefactors of the Year

Maui County Fire and Public Safety & Maui County Police Department

MEO 2019 Volunteer of the Year Nominees

MEO 2019 Volunteer of the Year Nominees

Edeina Snyder - Jeffery Honokaupu - Wayne Wong - Ned Davis (left to right in photo) & Ashley Canillo - Rosaline Omalsa - Leana Kehaulani Marie Silva

MEO Gala 2020 has sold out. Mahalo to our sponsors!

MEO Welcomes Alvin Naehu to our Transportation Department

MEO Welcomes Krishan Kumar to our Transportation Department

MEO Welcomes Janeth Cerizo to our Community Service Department

MEO Welcomes Nena Kilma to our Transportation Department

MEO Welcomes Peahi Blossom Fernandez to our Transportation Department

Congratulations to Thomas I'i, MEO's December 2019 Employee of the Month!

Press Release- Lahaina Honolua Senior Club Car Wash

For immediate release- Lahaina, Maui, HI

Na Hoaloa Ekolu staff of the Old Lahaina Luau will be washing cars to raise funds for the Lahaina Honolua Senior Club. The club will celebrate its 50th anniversary in May, and proceeds from the car wash will be used to support club events and activities.

The car wash will take place Saturday, February 22, 2020 at the Old Lahaina Luau parking lot located at 1251 Front Street, Lahaina from 9:00am to 12:00pm. A donation of $10.00 per car is suggested.

The Lahaina Honolua Senior Club consists of 105 members ranging from 63 to 99 years old.

MEO Welcomes Fuailelagi Satele to our Transportation Department

MEO Welcomes Lianne Peros-Busch to our BDC Department

MEO Welcomes Laurie Saito to our Head Start Department

MEO Welcomes Milton Matsuoka to our Head Start Department

Helping People, Changing Lives!

CEO Debbie Cabebe is on Capitol Hill this week meeting with Hawai’i State legislators.

Appreciated meeting today with Debbie Cabebe and her team from Maui Economic Opportunity, on their statewide administration of the National Farmworker Jobs Program, plus our vital Head Start and Community Services Block Grants.


Senior Scoop 2020 1st Qtr - Click Here!

BEST program specialist Bishop Pahia.

see more

This is Me

The U.S. Census Bureau proudly presents this powerful rendition of “This is Me” performed by Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander artists and dancers from across the country to invite and inspire their community to be seen, heard, and counted in the 2020 Census.

click to open

Give Your Child A Head Start - click here

click to view

Dale A Tu Hijo un Head Start - Dale aqui

MOLOKAI Head Start - click here

BDC Core Four December Graduation - click here

December 2019 Annual Party - click here

Congratulations to Alex Domingo, MEO's November 2019 Employee of the Month!

Molokai Bus Blessing of P162

Molokai receives a new ADA accessible bus

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Mahalo to the Maui County Mayor, Maui Dept of Transportation and the Maui County Council for the new wheelchair accessible bus for Molokai. This bus was blessed yesterday and will be used to service the expanded rural shuttle that transports residents to and from the East and West ends of the island into Kaunakakai Town.


During the last fiscal year, MEO provided nearly 24,000 trips on the island of Molokai.


ECS - Staff Development & Annual Party

click to see all photos

Congratulations to Maria Lores-Browne, MEO's October 2019 Employee of the Month!

Congradulations to Gay Sibonga, MEO's September 2019 Employee of the Month!

PUBLIC NOTICE: MEO is now accepting bids for an Improvement Project. Click here for more details.

MEO is now on AmazonSmile!

When you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice. AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service. If you wish to support MEO in this way, simply go to https://smile.amazon.com, search for "Maui Economic Opportunity" or "MEO" under "Or pick your own charitable organization", and select MEO as your charitable organization to support.

Senior Scoop 2019 4th Qtr - Click Here!

**Press Release for Immediate Release**

The Maui Non Profit Directors Association (MNPDA) held its Annual Meeting and Leadership Awards Ceremony at the MACC

The event was attended by over 100 non profit directors, volunteers, community members and politicians.

The Honorable Adrianne N. Heely, Second Circuit District Court Judge, presided over the installation of officers for MNPDA for 2019-2020.  Mayor Mike Victorino gave opening remarks and Lt. Governor Josh Green was the keynote speaker for the evening.

The officers for MNPD for 2019-2020 are:  President, Bevanne Bowers; Vice President, Cassandra Abdul; Treasurer, Sherri Dodson; and Secretary, Richard Carr.  At large members are: Nicholas Winfrey, Marshall Norman, Caroline Killhour and Debbie Cabebe.

There were five nominees for the Community Business Award:  Mana Foods, Hawaii Community Foundation, The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas and The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas, and Expojah Band.  The winner of the award was Mana Foods for their many efforts on behalf of the community, especially the Paia Youth and Cultural Center, who nominated them for them award.

There were nine nominees for the Humanitarian of the Year Award:  Mona Cherry, Maureen Marrs, Anne Leuteneker, Mercer “Chubby” Vicens, Eddie Domingo, Leonardo Sequeira, Gerry Smith, Cliff Alakai and Dr. Michael E. Kim.  The award was presented jointly to Maureen Marrs and Anne Leuteneker for their tireless efforts with Friends of the Childrens’s Justice Center, among others.

The final award of the night was for the Executive Director of the Year.  The two nominees were:  Debbie Cabebe from Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. and Susan White from The Paia Youth Council.  Debbie Cabebe was the winner of the well deserved award for Executive Director of the Year.

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Mayor, Lt Gov, Judge Heely and MNPD members

MNPD Officers

Community Business Award nominees

Community Business Award Winners, Mana Foods

Humanitarian of the Year nominees

Humanitarian of the Year Winners - Anne Leuteneker & Maureen Marrs


Senator Mazie Hirono speaks on MSNBC about the "Public Charge" rule changes.

47th Annual Kupuna Aloha Luncheon held July 27, 2019

The 47th Annual Kupuna Aloha Luncheon was held on Saturday, July 27, 2019 at the Grand Wailea in the Haleakala Ballroom from 9:00am to 1:00pm.  The event was hosted by the Maui County Planning & Coordinating Council, and sponsored by Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc.

Over 500 kupuna, guests, politicians and vendors attended the event.  Mayor Mike Victorino gave remarks and Kathy Collins, aka “Tita” was the guest speaker.  Two Kupuna Advocate Awards were given to former Mayor Alan Arakawa and former MEO employee Agnes Groff for their years of service to Maui County kupuna.  Entertainment was be provided by Malanai.

Kupuna Advocate Awardee Alan Arakawa, Arleen Gerbig and Debbie Cabebe

47th Annual Kupuna Aloha Luncheon Gallery here...

Congratulations to our newest CDL license holder Florante Javalde

Public hearing at the State Capitol on the Community Services Block Grant State Plan.

Senate and Rep Committee Members, Office of Community Services Director and State Community Action Program executives.

Honolulu Community Action clients and staff with committee members.

MEO 2018-19 Annual Report

Yesterday we were very lucky to have Senator Brian Schatz visit us at our Transportation Facility in Pu'unene. Senator Schatz and his team were very gracious and asked a lot of great questions! We know how busy the Senator's schedule is and were grateful he took the time to visit with our staff and tour the facility. Mahalo Senator!

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Congratulations to our very own Nani Watanable who was awarded with the "Pursuit of Excellence Award" from the Quality Improvement Organizations for her tireless work for the disabled of Maui County! Nani is a shining star and we truly appreciate all she does for our clients!

2019 Annual Board Installation Luncheon

Yesterday we held our Annual Board Installation luncheon to install our board officers for the coming year. We were grateful to have Maui County Council Chair Kelly King perform the installation of officers, and we were so happy to see so many other supportive faces in the crowd! Mahalo to all who attended and continue to support MEO and our mission of helping people and saving lives!

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Maui Independent Living Center's 1st Annual Disabilities Awareness Fair held at the Queen Kaahumanu Shopping Center.

Mayor Michael Victorino with Noelani Nani Watanabe the MILC Program Coordinator
Cassi Yamashita the Community Services Director, then Catalina Oramss & Maria Lores-Browne of the Enlace Hispano program

Senior Services Red Card Application

Click to view/print application

Click here to see the 2019 Gala General Photos

Click here to see the 2019 Gala Backdrop Photos

MEO Names its Driver of the Year

Jonnie Oliveros was announced as MEO’s Driver of the Year at MEO’s Annual Awards event on Thursday, 2/28/2019. This annual event recognizes valued team members for their years of service, as well as Driver’s who have been accident free. This year there were 36 drivers that were recognized for being accident free.


Ms. Oliveros is the Hana Branch Manager and has been a longtime MEO employee since August 2004. The criteria for obtaining this noteworthy award includes exemplifying the company motto of Helping People, Changing Lives, as well as reflecting MEO’s core values of Teamwork, Integrity, Personal Excellence, Empathy, Creativity, and Flexibility. Additional Driver criteria also includes driving for a minimum of 1100 hours in the calendar year, being accident free, and meeting attendance standards.

Ms. Oliveros was recognized for meeting and exceeding all of these qualities with kindness and compassion while putting in 100% to get the job done with a positive “can do” attitude and a smile. Atlas Insurance is the annual sponsor of this award.

2019 Annual Employee Awards meeting pics here...

*MEO 2018 Volunteer and Benefactor of the Year*

MEO held its 33nd Annual Volunteer Luncheon on February 14, 2019 at the MEO Family Center. This event is held every year on Valentine’s Day to honor and thank all of the many volunteers who assist MEO with helping people and changing lives. In 2018, MEO’s 601 volunteers performed over 4030 service hours, saving MEO approximately $77,400 in labor costs.

MEO recognized five nominees for 2018 Volunteer of the Year: Eddie Domingo nominated by Early Childhood Services, Leonardo Sequeira was nominated by Community Services, Gerry Smith was nominated by the MEO Business Development Center, Clifford Alakai was nominated by the Fiscal department and Mercer “Chubby” Vicens was nominated by administration.

Mercer “Chubby” Vicens was named the 2018 Volunteer of the Year. He has given a great deal of his time, talent and shared his treasury for over 25 years. His leadership qualities and vast knowledge of business, construction, personnel, and finance made him an invaluable part of MEO’s Board and board committees.

Mayor Michael P. Victorino attended the event and proclaimed February 14, 2019 Mercer “Chubby” Vicens Day for his years of volunteer service to MEO and to Maui County.

MEO also recognized the 2018 Benefactor of the Year, given to businesses or organizations who contribute time and resources to assist MEO with their mission. Hawai’i Community Foundation was the awardee for 2018. MEO has been the recipient of Hawai’i Community Foundation grants dating back to 2006 with total support of more than $280,000. The Hawai’i Community Foundation enhances lives by supporting programs that meet specific objectives and help donors make informed and meaningful choices with regard to funding designation. They create partnerships by bringing funders together with nonprofits and community & government leaders to leverage social investment and create lasting change by making the most of donor’s gifts. They have been described as a Navigator, Connector, and Builder, an organization that helps identify where donors can make the greatest impact. Hawai’i Community Foundation funds have assisted MEO to support funding shortfalls and ensure MEO fulfills its mission of strengthening the community while helping people in need…

*MEO Volunteer Luncheon 2019

*Lana'i Volunteer Luncheon 2019

*Moloka'i Volunteer Luncheon 2019

MEO Receives Hawaii Community Foundation Flex Grant

Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. (MEO) is pleased to announce it has received a $20,000 Hawaii Community Foundation FLEX grant acknowledging that the organization has exemplified the best practices of high performance. The FLEX grant program is a partnership of many funds thanks to generous donors and their fund advisors.

CEO Debbie Cabebe said, "MEO is grateful to be a recipient of the FLEX grant and appreciates the Hawaii Community foundation and its donors. We are fortunate to have received $10,000 from the *Jean I. Fennimore Fund* and $10,000 from the *Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation Fund*. Grants like these are rare and are like gold as they can be used to help cover administrative costs that are short funded by other grants".

In the last fiscal year MEO administered nearly 40 grants serving more than 18,800 individuals and touching more than 56,000 lives.

For information about MEO contract Debbie Cabebe at 249-2990 or email debbie.cabebe@meoinc.org

MEO is dedicated to "Helping people, and changing lives."

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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