Aloha House purchases home for women in recovery

Posted by Island Sotheby's International Realty on Friday, April 16th, 2021 at 2:33pm

Caprice Nicole Photography

Caprice Nicole Photography

(Kahului, Maui) – A recent transaction between Halama Properties LP, Aloha House, and Island Sotheby’s International Realty is working towards creating safe and sober housing for women and children in the community. This opportunity will house those in need thanks to the County, community donations, and non-profit partners.

Aloha House purchased a home in Kahului from Halama Properties using funds from the County of Maui Affordable Housing Fund and will be using the property as a sober living facility for women and their children. The facility, which will be run by Malama Family Recovery Center (MFRC), will provide substantial community benefits.

Caprice Nicole Photography

“When my clients elected to sell their property in Kahului this year, they asked me to check in with Aloha House, who had purchased a similar home from the same owner 2.5 years ago. I reached out to Jud Cunningham at Aloha House and coincidentally he had just received approval from the Maui County Affordable Housing Grant to buy a property. Aloha House was actively seeking a home that could be occupied and run by Malama Family Recovery for women and children” stated Mino McLean, realtor for Island Sotheby’s International Realty.

Once the idea was sprouted, the community worked quickly to get all the moving pieces going. “As we were moving through the deal with Aloha House, Sam Utley, Realtor at Island Sotheby’s International Realty, and I had another listing in Haiku consisting of over 5,000 square feet, owned by Bruce Leak. We were brainstorming what to do with all the staged furniture the owner purchased and an idea was born. What if we could furnish the property in Kahului with the furnishings from this Haiku home? The timeline seemed to line up and as soon as we mentioned it to the owner Bruce, he and his team were 100% on board. Aloha House put me in direct contact with Dr. Lisa Ponichtera, clinical director at Malama Family Recovery and Lisa informed us that their facilities are typically furnished from community donations, so it was perfect,” said Mino McLean. 

Caprice Nicole Photography

Stephanie Malcolm from Style Maui offered to handle the staging for this project and graciously handled all tasks surrounding the setup of the facility. “Mino asked if we’d be interested in coordinating the styling of the property since they had another seller who was offering to donate their furniture to the property. We were completely on board with helping set up the house at any capacity. We met the team from the Malama Recovery Center at the property to discuss the needs of the residents who would be moving in. At that point we realized that moving the contents from one home to another would be more of an exercise of putting a puzzle together. The recovery home needed to accommodate multiple guests per room (mothers and children) which required bunk bed sets as opposed to queen beds,” Stephanie Malcolm, Style Maui. 

During the process, Stephanie reached out to local businesses to support the cause. Calvin Johnson from We Move People LLC agreed to move the furniture from Pauwela to the facility. “When I created We Move People LLC my goal was to maintain a high degree of professionalism and be a helping hand. Being a part of this initiative is an accumulation of my life's journey that I'm blessed to be a part of. In these days and times with so much going on in the world providing someone with housing and a meal can change more than a life, it can change generations,” stated Calvin Johnson, We Move People LLC. 

Over the next few months, Aloha House will work with the community to finish the facility to get it ready for the new residents. The sober living home will be run by MFRC and it will offer a safe living option for recovering female addicts who are in the recovery process and working to rejoin the community. MFRC is an organization that provides outpatient and residential treatment for individuals addicted to alcohol and/or other drugs. The mission has since expanded to include provision of comprehensive, family-centered behavioral health interventions for the prevention and treatment of individual and family dysfunction. From start to finish this will truly be a community effort. 

Caprice Nicole Photography

“The process of meeting so many AMAZING people in our community was the highlight of the work. Megan and Jason from Mattress Firm kicked it all off by saying ‘come on in, we’d love to be a part of the project’. They understand the pure spirit of Aloha and Ohana. I met an amazing community contributor, Vince from Inmate Initiative. His non-profit is in alignment with the Malama Team in the way that they all want to make an impact in lifting people facing challenges. He volunteered to assemble the bunk beds with our team of realtors, and family members. Every person that I encountered during the way expressed complete support of the project. Everyone from the check-out lady at Ross to the agent who donated a few chairs and side tables. The island community is so wonderful to support the needs of those who are trying to make an improvement with their lives,” said Stephanie Malcolm. 

The property will provide gender-specific treatment services for women in recovery from substance abuse and addiction. Gender specificity in treatment is critical to successful outcomes because women who use/abuse substances share common life experiences and have needs distinct from their male counterparts. "I'd like to thank the donors that helped make this new Sober Living Home possible, and our board member, John Ferguson, who helped with the purchase," said Jud Cunningham, CEO of the Aloha House and Malama Family Recovery Center. "The team at Island Sotheby's has been amazing. They garnered the additional donations, and gave many of their own, to put the final touches on this house, making it a safe, comfortable, and really beautiful home for our clients," quote from Malia Bohlin, Development Director at Aloha House/Malama Family Recovery Center. 

Caprice Nicole Photography

Without our local business and volunteers none of this would be possible. “When I think about everyone to thank, we’ve got the seller, who agreed to sell off market and pass up on a higher buyer in order to do the right thing, Bruce Leak for donating the furniture from his Pauwela property, the county’s Maui County Affordable Housing Grant funding, Style Maui, Mattress Firm, Island Sotheby’s International Realty, volunteers from Kamehameha Schools, and more,” said Mino McLean. 

Continue the story with your donation to Malama Family Recovery Center - Click Here!

See story as it appeared in The Maui News

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