School of Social Work

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Hawaii has the highest rate of homelessness in the nation. 

The community is currently engaged in discussion about how to deal with the crisis and meet the needs of this growing population.  As an integral part of this community, HPU will spend a week focusing on the topic and encouraging engagement in this important issue.  Engagement will occur through service projects, educational events and dialogues, a community resource fair, and engagement through the arts. 

Help us as we create awareness, education, partnerships, and action surrounding issues of homelessness as it affects those in our community and world. 

All events are open to the public.

Movie on the Mall poster

Movie on Fort Street Mall
Hawaii Loa Campus, AC 101

Friday, March 27, 2015
6:30-8:30 p.m.

Showing The Soloist, starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr.

This movie chronicles the friendship between Steve Lopez, LA Times reporter and Nathaniel Ayers, a prodigal musician who left Julliard due to a mental illness and was living homeless in Los Angeles’ Skid Row when they met.  It is a powerful story of one journalist’s search for the meaning of his own craft, for the nature of sympathy and respect.

Click here for the movie trailer

FREE and open to the public

Cafe Julia Event

Celebrate Social Work Month with Steve Lopez and the School of Social Work (2 CEUs)

Monday, March 30, 2015

11:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

Cafe Julia, 1040 Richards Street

March is National Social Work month and the School of Social Work is celebrating by hosting special guest Steve Lopez, columnist with the Los Angeles Times and author of The Soloist.

The luncheon will honor outstanding individuals and agencies engaged in social work in Hawaii, and attendees will be awarded two CEUs, accredited by the National Association of Social Work Hawaii Chapter.

Click here to RSVP

Open to the public

Science Pub poster

Science Pub Presents: Skid Row Chronicles with Steve Lopez

Monday, March 30, 2015

6-7:30 p.m.

Gordon Biersch, Aloha Tower Marketplace

Special guest Steve Lopez, columnist with the Los Angeles Times and author of The Soloist. He authored the book The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music. Mr. Lopez will explore the evolution of his friendship with Mr. Ayers, what he learned about public policy failures and victories, and the destigmatization that occurs through the humanizing of Nathaniel and thousands like him. 

This story is about the power of friendship, perseverance, art and music and affirms how through engagement in relationships with others, we are changed.

Click here for more information

FREE and open to the public

The Politics of Homelessness: Big Picture Solutions

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

12–1:30 p.m.

Kamiano Center, Fort Street Mall

This community panel will provide information and opportunity for discussion about Hawaii’s unique experience of homelessness.  What are solutions to the problem and what is being proposed from various sectors of our community to address the issue?  
Speakers:  Bob Marchant, Pastor at River of Life, Kathryn Xian, PASS Director,  Diana Kim, Photographer and Family Member,  Colin Kippen, State Homeless Coordinator, and George Szigeti, Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association. 

FREE and open to the public

Diana Kim

The Urban Forest Exhibit

Wednesday, April 1, 2015
11 a.m.–7 p.m.
Meet and greet with the artist 5–7 p.m.

1132 Bishop Street, 2nd Floor Lobby

Wednesday, April 1st, “The Urban Forest Exhibit”.  Our understanding of social issues is deepened through the Arts.  Diana Kim is a local photographer/law student who has spent two years photo-documenting her father’s life on the streets.  Come view this amazing exhibit and meet the artist.

Click here for more information

FREE and open to the public

The Urban Forest