"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." Ancient Chinese Proverb
Touch a Heart has been dedicated to preserving and enhancing the dignity of the homeless and disadvantaged in Hawai’i for over a decade. In 2012, we began to ‘rethink homelessness’ and developed a business model that centered around collaboration and community. Specifically, we designed a vocational training program in food services that partnered with organizations with under-utilized commercial kitchens to house our program and then turn them into profit centers ‘with a purpose’.
Currently, our ‘one-of-a-kind’, vocational training program in food service trains women in transition with the marketable skills necessary to move toward sustainable independent living through employment.
Because our program is both place-based and high touch, women who are recovering from substance and alcohol abuse, many whom are single parents, will have the opportunity to obtain vocational readiness in a supportive and nurturing environment. Stable employment will provide these women with the financial means to eventually secure affordable or subsidized housing, enabling their families to move out of transitional shelters into more permanent housing.
We’ve adjusted the proverb to read:
“Give a woman a fish and you feed her for a day but teach a woman to fish and you feed her and her family for a lifetime.”