Family Promise changes lives
Blaine Roque, 50, said he was unemployed, homeless and the single parent of two children, one with severe health problems, when he was referred to the Family Promise of Hawaii program.
"I faced many challenges, but there is a happy ending to the story, " he said.
Roque spoke at a luncheon at which the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation Inc. presented an $800,000 check to the Kukui Children's Foundation for a center to help homeless and abused children.
Family Promise of Hawaii will be one of five agencies working with children in the center. It has a network of churches that rotate in providing temporary housing to homeless families and assistance to find housing and better employment.
"I had a lot of downfalls in my life," said Roque, who had been through the welfare and public housing systems. He also had lived at the Institute for Human Services with his daughter, 13, and son, 12.
His son has a condition that causes his brain to swell and he's had five brain surgeries, Roque said. "My son is doing fine now. He has headaches but he hasn't had surgery for two years now.
"When I started with Family Promise, everything went good for me," he said. "They inspired me to go to job interviews and don't give up."
He said he had been "through drugs and whatever. Being in Family Promise made me see the light."
He is working and has a home in Salt Lake, he said. "My kids are really happy. Right now is the best I'm doing in my life. I thank all the organizations. A couple helped me out."