Community Services

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MEO Community Services provides a wide array of programs and services, including employment training and job placement, financial literacy, acculturation and education for Hispanic/Latino individuals and families, rental and energy assistance, weatherization for low-income households, senior club support and advocacy, partnerships with local farmers to provide seniors with access to fresh fruit and vegetables, reentry and reintegration services for returning citizens, education and advocacy for persons with disabilities, and more.



Are there government benefits that could help you — ones you are not yet accessing? Go on the Web to (link will open in a new window or tab) to check.

Until now, discovering what government benefits are available and which ones you can qualify for has been, at best, a hit-and-miss exercise. No one person possessed all the information about loans, grants, insurance, food programs, rental assistance and other possible government benefits.

MEO clients with case workers have a better chance than most of discovering needed assistance. This Web site will make life easier even for those case managers and clients. Also, starting on this U.S. government Web site, a few clicks will take you to Web pages about benefits available through the Hawai‘i government. Even if you think there are no benefits available to you, you owe it to your family to spend a few minutes on the site . . . just checking it out.

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Hawaii News Now report on MEO Inmate transition programChelsea Davis of Hawaii News Now highlighted Maui Economic Opportunity's BEST (Being Empowered and Safe Together) program that helps recently released inmates transition back into the community.Many leave the jail/prison with no money, ID, health insurance, housing and other necessities. Bishop Pahia and his BEST crew, under the direction of Community Services Director Cassi Yamashita, are dedicated to helping former inmates with their first steps of freedom and getting established with housing, jobs and counseling to prevent them from reoffending.Thank you to Chelsea and our BEST clients for helping cast a spotlight on one of the MEO programs that are "Helping People. Saving Lives."The video link ... See MoreSee Less
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Senior Scoop 3rd Quarter 😃🤙 ... See MoreSee Less
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Maui Economic Opportunity’s Director of Community Services, Cassi Yamashita, has been selected as one of Pacific Business News 40 Under 40: Class of 2021.Cassi’s name appears alongside some of the state’s top young leaders under age 40 including Tyson Miyake, Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino’s chief of staff, Ashley Takitani Leahy, director of communications and development for Ohana Pacific Health, doctors, nonprofit executive directors, and top government and business officials.PBN noted that “the competition was fierce this year.”Cassi, 36, runs the largest department by programs (13) in one of Maui County’s largest nonprofit organizations with more than 225 employees. The programs under her management offer assistance for basic necessities, including housing (rental/mortgage) and utilities, and employment and other services to low income residents, recently released inmates, persons with disabilities, immigrants and kupuna. Community Services programs provide assistance and social activities for kupuna, training in first aid/CPR for the hearing impaired, translation and other necessary services for the Hispanic community and training and subsidies for immigrant farm workers.She joined MEO in 2011 as a youth program specialist and rose through the ranks, becoming director of Youth Services in 2015, Assistant Director of Community Services in 2017 and Director of Community Services in 2019.“I have known Cassi since her days as an MEO Youth Services program specialist where she worked with youth to prevent under-age drinking -- a major focus of my time as a council member,” said Council Member Yuki Lei Sugimura, who wrote a letter of support. “Cassi exhibited a wonderful rapport with youths and community leaders. Today, I know there are young adults on the island who are abstaining from alcohol and driving under the influence because of Cassi’s work.”Cassi serves as Maui chairwoman of Hawaii’s Partners to Prevent Underage Drinking, vice chairwoman of the Maui County Commission on Children and Youth and as a member of Maui County Coalition for Underage Drinking Prevention, Coalition for Tobacco-Free Hawaii, Prevent Suicide Maui County Task Force and Maui County Reentry Council.“A person like Cassi, dedicated to her work, committed to the community, and a leader to many, is a worthy 40 Under 40 candidate,” the council member said. “Cassi will only grow brighter as she accumulates experiences and knowledge. Her future growth as a leader will be led, as she always has been, by her caring heart for those in need and less fortunate.”Debbie Cabebe, CEO of MEO, said that “the MEO family is so proud of Cassi, of her accomplishments to date and into the future.”“The work she does with conviction and dedication directly impacts the lives of the people she serves,” she continued.Helping inmates released from incarceration is a special cause for Cassi, who has had family members behind bars and visited them at a young age. She is treasurer of her church, My Brothers Keeper, Maui, which has a prison reintegration ministry, and goes into Maui Community Correctional Center regularly to offer help to inmates, including public notary services.A showcase of the 40 Under 40 winners for 2021 can be found ... See MoreSee Less
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2 months ago

MEO Community Services
**Dee Kahuhu honored as MEO’s April Employee of the Month**Dee Kahuhu, who heads the National Farmworker Jobs Program, was selected Employee of the Month for April at Maui Economic Opportunity.“This person strikes me as the consummate company employee and absolutely exemplifies MEO's core values,” wrote Jan Cerizo, who nominated Kahuhu for the honor. “An absolute team player, this person serves as the ‘go to’ person in our department on multiple occasions.”Dee’s exemplary traits include attention to detail, patience to teach fellow workers and assist clients, leadership and integrity. She uses her fluency in pidgin to communicate and endear herself with local clients.“My initial impression of this person is that she is a down to earth ‘titah,’ and it is with respect that I use this adjective to describe her,” said Jan.Dee started off at MEO in May 2000 as a housing specialist. She left MEO in April 2015 but returned about a year later. In February 2019, Dee was promoted from housing specialist to program manager.April’s employee of the month was honored during a general staff meeting on May 26 and received a $150 check and an extra vacation day. Jan earned $50 for the nomination. ... See MoreSee Less
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