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How to Help

Your support of Maui Behavioral Health Resources’ agencies – Maui Youth & Family Services, Aloha House and Malama Family Recovery Center – helps us provide life-changing and life-saving services to thousands of individuals and families every year in our community.

YOU make it possible for us to ensure everyone has the help they need to achieve and maintain a foundation for lasting recovery and well-being.


Below are just a few stories that former clients have shared with us…

“Every day I get up and go to school.  No one in my family gets me ready for school, makes me lunch or breakfast, leaves the light on when I am out late or even cares how I am doing.  I am alone when I get to school until my Counselor Heather gets there and opens her room.  Heather asks how I am doing in the morning, makes sure I get breakfast, makes sure I get lunch and always lets me eat my lunch in her room with all the other people in the MYFS Ke Ala Pono Program.  I feel like I am accepted for whom I am and people care about my well- being.  I graduate this year and I am scared.  I am not scared for the normal reasons other graduates are scared.  Without Heather in my life, who will care if I eat, who will ask me how I am doing and who will be there for me every day.  Who will care that I have not smoked pot in three months?  You see, Heather, or Grandma as we like to call her, is not just my Counselor, she is someone that has been there for me for the past four years.  My real family is so messed up that they are not there for me in any way.  I will have to leave my safe world that I have created along with Grandma and go out and fend for myself.  Heather and I have had long discussions this year about my future and what I am going to do.  She helped me apply for scholarships, she helped me write college applications and she helped me with housing after I was kicked out of where I am staying.  So when someone says who is that Haole Counselor to you, I say, ‘She is not only my Counselor, she has filled the role of Family for my whole time in high school, and I will never forget how she cared about me and helped me move on with my life.  I will tell them that I learned from her that I am  of value and I matter.’ I will being attending UHMC in the Fall and I would not have done any of this if it wasn’t for Heather.”

“I am 20 years old. When I was 12 years old I moved from Michigan to Hawaii to live with my father. I thought I would love it and I thought that my father would love me and be there for me. Moving here didn’t go as planned. My relationship with my father was nothing like I thought it would be. At the age of 13 I went into Foster Care. I was placed into different homes, got into fights and began running away from homes. At the age of 16 I entered the Independent Living Program at MYFS….Since I have been with MYFS I have learned how to manage a bank account and to save money. I am even saving up for braces. I recently made the decision to go back to school to be a nurse. My MYFS Counselor talked me into putting off parenting and has helped me get on birth control. If I didn’t have MYFS I would be getting into trouble, doing drugs, drinking…I would most likely have a baby, not have a job and I wouldn’t have money saved…When I was young I thought my future would be horrible. I thought I would be in and out of jail like my brothers and sisters. I didn’t think to look at myself as that independent woman that I am today. Because of MYFS I now realize that I am in charge of me and no matter what hard times I face, I just have to keep my head up and I can overcome anything and still remain on top. I have even regained the courage to let my father back in my life, who I hadn’t spoken to since I was 13. My MYFS Counselor always has my back and gives me a shoulder to cry on. I can’t thank MYFS enough for saving my life from going down the wrong path.”

“I am 14 years old. Two years ago I was homeless, on drugs and committing crimes so I could eat. It felt hopeless . . . lonely and everyday seemed to get longer and longer. When I finally got into the MYFS program, they made me feel like I mattered when no one else did. They gave me hope that there was something better and they gave me a place to heal. I got treatment, work full-time now and no longer use drugs to escape reality.”

“My name is Kevin and I was 16 when I joined the program. I had been in and out of foster homes most of my life. I smoked marijuana, drank regularly and ended up with legal problems. When I first got into the program I was resistant to it and couldn’t focus during groups. My counselors helped me with my problems and taught me how to have fun without drugs or alcohol. I completed the program not long after I graduated from high school. I am now sober, working full-time and want to volunteer for MYFS to share my story with other kids.”

“Once I got too old for foster care, I had many difficulties and didn’t know how to live on my own. The MYFS Independent Living Program taught me how to apply for a job, pay my own bills and solve my problems. I’m going to college now and have clear goals for the future. I am very thankful for all of the support I received from MYFS counselors and plan to help other foster kids in the future.”

“I just turned 18. When I was 5 I went into foster care. That was the last time I ever saw my parents. Then I lived with my aunt, who abused me mentally and physically. My father was murdered when I was 11 and I remember my aunt saying one time, as she strangled me, that I would end up dead on the side of the road like my father. Things were so bad that I started doing drugs and drinking alcohol in order to feel better. After my family kicked me out of the house last year I wanted to kill myself…At the beginning of this year I went into MYFS’ Therapeutic Foster Care program, where I received encouragement and support for the first time in my life and actually felt like I had a family. My foster parents and I could cook together and crack jokes and I finally got an idea of what a family environment could be. I had never been told that life could be what I wanted it to be and my counselors showed me that I actually had a future to look forward to. Now I am working on getting my GED, have two jobs and will be moving into my own apartment soon. My foster parents opened my heart to wanting to help kids and now I want to go to college so I can open up my own day care. These possibilities never existed for me before…Before MYFS I didn’t think about the future – I just thought I would die young. My life is completely different now and is so much better. Now that I am sober I am actually aware of what is going on around me. I am able to really be myself and show my personality, which is happy and outgoing, instead of always being angry. For the first time I am able to focus and I know that my life can change and get better.”

“I don’t know what we would have done without MYFS! My daughter was so angry and out of control, we couldn’t have her at home. Having her placed for a week at MYFS’ Emergency Shelter made all the difference. We had time to think calmly and the staff helped us make a family plan to move forward. My daughter is following through on agreements and is a much happier person.”

“I was a foster kid most of my life and started doing drugs with my friends when I was 13. When I got in trouble in school, my counselor put me in the MYFS Intensive Outpatient Treatment program. I didn’t like it at first, but my counselors showed me how to have fun without drugs or alcohol. I’m proud to say that I graduated from high school, started working full-time and I’m still clean and sober.”

“Like many kids walking through the doors of a shelter, I was a down and out youth. I was homeless and traveling around, sleeping in the park and asking people for change on the street. I heard about the MYFS Emergency Shelter and went there. Everyone who worked there was really awesome. They talked to me like a person and didn’t treat me like trash. I am very thankful to the counselors who helped me get my life together.”

“I have been working with my MYFS Counselor for about two years now. She is always there for me whenever I need her, even with her busy schedule. She is the only person I can talk to about my problems. She is the one person I can always count on. When I am feeling down she is always there to bring me back up. I can’t picture my life without her. Because of her I am not ditching school and smoking anymore. Without her I don’t know where I would be today. She helps me figure out sober activities and encouraged me to have goals in life, like those related to getting a job. I want to be a counselor now just like her. I want to be someone who gives very good advice and helps students when they need someone. She is a very good friend and has inspired me so much.”

“I have been in the MYFS Independent Living Program for 8 years, ever since I was 15 years old. With their help I have learned how to live on my own and plan for goals. Counseling at MYFS helped me move forward in my life with a positive attitude. I am currently a UHMC full time student and also a part-time employee on campus.”

“I am really grateful to the MYFS family. They have helped me so much to grow into the young lady I am today. I have two jobs and I’m currently working on my GED! The never-ending support and unconditional love from MYFS touches my heart. I am so grateful I have had this opportunity with MYFS.”

“If it weren’t for Aloha House I would probably be dead and my kids (11 and 7 years old) would be in Foster Care or adopted. Before, I couldn’t go one day without drinking. Now I have changed the way I think and choose to live. Because I am sober I can be with and raise my kids. This is the best gift I have ever had because when the time comes that I have been sober for 3-5 years, my boys will be young teenagers and will need a role model around. I am so blessed that I can now give my boys a life. All I care about is their happiness. I wouldn’t have anything without Aloha House.”

“When I entered Aloha House I was homeless and could not stop drinking. Being here made the light come on for me and made me realize that I needed to focus on changing myself and not the world and that I simply could not see my kids if I was not sober. If it weren’t for Aloha House I wouldn’t have made it one day. Their help changed the way I think and choose to live.”

“I am grateful to be alive. Ten days ago, I fully expected not to be. I made every effort not to be. I failed, and in doing so, I may have rediscovered a life lost 16 years ago. I’m grateful, grateful beyond words, for the shelter, food, clothing, help, care, concern, genuine concern of everyone there, including the staff, but especially for the friends I’ve made. I see through them lives lived far beyond my troubles. I see in them a profound willingness to survive. I’ve heard them, really heard them, when they have said, ‘Please don’t kill yourself.’ I’m grateful for their heartfelt concern and openness. They have truly helped me see something beyond the fog of what recently seemed nothing more than a failed life. I know their gratitude for life and living will sustain me as I begin anew.”

“Because of Aloha House I now have sobriety and sustainability so I can function in the real world. I’ve been an alcoholic for 12 years and treatment has cleared the smoky haze that’s been clouding my perception about how life should be and how it really is.”

“Coming to Aloha House has given me a new outlook on life. The staff showed me that they genuinely care about me and have faith in me. Before coming here no one had ever shown me compassion, and the staff was there for me through the bumps along the way. Now I know there are good people in the world and I actually feel compassion for others.”

“Because of Aloha House my brain came back along with my sense of humor and empathy. I can smile again. I no longer want to isolate and dwell on death and suicide. After years and years of using that’s where drugs took me. But no more. I have discovered some underlying issues and coping skills. I know that if I stay clean I can do almost anything.”

“I am grateful for all the services I received at Aloha House. From the time I went into the crisis services program to the time I was discharged, I was blessed. As soon as I got there the staff made me feel comfortable – first by welcoming me and then by offering me a hot shower and a meal, which I hadn’t had in a couple days. For me that showed compassion and was the start of my recovery. Now that I was getting stable for my mental illness I wanted to get help for my addiction too, and that’s where my 90-day stay in the residential program started and my Gratitude towards Aloha House stands!”

“Aloha House has given me strength, courage and faith in my recovery and sobriety. It has helped me to rebirth myself into a strong, secure, independent woman. I have plans and goals in my life – goals that are attainable with hard work and perseverance. I love the person that I have become. I believe in myself and my recovery. I have been given tools to use in everyday life and the ability to know when and where to use them. These simple gifts that have helped me so much will be passed on to others and continue to help those in need and myself, not just for today, but for a lifetime.”

“Coming to Aloha House has been the most significant thing that has happened in my life. I came in a mess, dysfunctional. Because of the people here and in my therapy groups I am on the road to recovery. Before coming here I didn’t like people because I didn’t like myself. But now I love myself and life is getting a whole lot better.”

“Being at Malama changed everything because it provided a home where I could get the love that I couldn’t give myself before. My children would not have me today if I hadn’t had such an amazing group of healing people around me. Quite simply, I rose from the ashes and would not have the relationship I do with my children if I had not been able to heal. Malama provided a foundation for me to go through the healing motions of being a mother and staying strong for myself and my children.”

“Before going to Malama I was there physically for my kids but not mentally or emotionally. I felt like I didn’t have the right to even hold or touch my children and that I was an outsider around them. As I began to heal I realized what I was missing and wanted to get better so I could be there for my kids. I had to work hard to see my kids. The staff wanted me to be with them, but they made me earn that privilege. I finally began thinking about the consequences of my actions and how they would impact my family. I also started thinking about what kind of life I wanted for my children and what I needed to do to make that happen. My relationship with my children is still mending, but we are a good team and I love being there for them as their interests develop. I missed a lot of moments that I can’t get back, but now that I’m sober and clean I am so much more active in their lives. I love being there for all the hugs and kisses, the silly moments and the craziness of everyday life. Going through Malama made me realize I am stronger than I thought I was. I fought for myself and my kids. If I hadn’t gotten better I would have lost my children, and to me, I achieved the unachievable.”

“Here in treatment I have developed a love for myself that wasn’t easy. I also have self-respect and I value and cherish what I have because it feels good, it feels right. I came to Malama from jail. Jail was my bottom, no way out, nowhere to hide, no one to lie to and manipulate. I used this bottom as an opportunity to get well because I knew if I’d gone back out and used, I probably would’ve tried to take my life…my pain and past runs deep. I hurt all the people who loved me and I punished myself for that by staying in my sickness, my addiction. But in treatment I have learned communication, coping skills, about my anger, forgiveness and fear. I have learned so much and gained so much. I have moved forward in spite of what has happened. I know that there are a lot of things ahead of me that I need to deal with. Today I can. I am not afraid and fragile as I was. Today I know what my priorities and responsibilities are. Today I love and respect myself. I care about me and what happens to me, and I know that my disease of addiction will never go away. So I have learned and will continue every day to stay aware and committed to my recovery, doing what I need to stay safe, stay sober. I love being a mother. I love being me. I love being everything I can be. I can walk with my head up continuing to go forward because today I believe in myself.”

“The only thing I remember before my parents abandoned me and my brother is taking care of my baby brother while my mom and dad did their drugs. Then my mom left when I was 4 years old. I always just wanted to come home and have my mom be there for once. I felt like an abandoned little girl…lost, depressed and lonely. Then I started drinking at age 10 with my cousins and smoking weed at 11. I would smoke so I didn’t have to fill the feelings of being unwanted, unloved, lost, abandoned and lonely. Which then lead me to stealing, lying, cheating and on the road of destruction. All I wanted was a normal family with love, comfort and support. Since I came to treatment I have inherited a new family that loves me when I’m down and supports me in any way they can. Malama has given me the tools to be independent and to cope with life on my own terms. I was able to be included in a family I never had and strived to have growing up. I was also able to show my real self without being judged. I would like to thank Malama for believing in me and teaching me a whole new outlook on life.”

“While in prison I had the chance to do drug treatment at Malama and jumped at the chance. There I learned basic life skills, became more responsible, changed my thinking and realized my core beliefs. After graduating from Malama I obtained both an Associates and Bachelors Degree and then became a certified substance abuse counselor….Malama was my light when my life was in total darkness and gave me back my self-esteem and self-confidence to be what I want to be. Now I have the opportunity to help those that are currently in the situation I once was with a total understanding of where they are coming from and the challenges they are facing in their lives. I am truly blessed with daily reminders of how people can overcome obstacles and accomplish all their dreams.”

“My drug choice was crack cocaine. It took total control of my life. At that point I knew that it was either jail or death. I was devastated and I felt so alone. One day sitting in my cell I cried and said “look what happened because of the drugs that you chose to use, you are now in jail for 1-5 years…”. After graduating from Malama Family Recovery Center I entered a new chapter in my life. I went back to college and am working at the school’s library. I am also working part time at Big Brothers, Big Sisters so I can give back to the community. I am done with the treatment part but I am on the road of recovery, which is for the rest of my life. Today I choose not to use. I enjoy my life today and I am happy that I went through what I did because if I didn’t I am sure that I wouldn’t be here today. Today I am happy to report that I have 1 year 8 months and 5 days clean. I did every day one day at a time. I will never forget all the sacrifices that the staff at Malama made for me.”

“Malama has never given up on me. Being in treatment here is not easy, but they helped so very much — they showed me how to be honest, open and willing to give up what has bothered me so much. Malama helped me find myself, get my GED, get into school and get my drivers permit so I can visit my children. The staff helped me be calm and happy with myself and to especially love myself. Now I tell other people to just not give up even if you are having a bad day. Thank you to the Malama staff for loving me and being there for me when I needed a friend to talk to and someone to tell my problems to.”

How You Can Make A Difference

There are several ways to be involved


You can give to an agency’s general fund, to be used where the need is greatest, or to a particular program or project that is special to you. All three agencies accept donations online through Network for Good.

If you prefer to mail your gift, you can send it with a completed Donation Form

Donation Form


Create a lasting legacy by making a planned gift to one of our agencies. Your contribution makes a significant difference and ensures Maui Youth & Family Services, Aloha House and Malama Family Recovery Center are thriving now and in the future.

If any of our agencies are in your will or trust, please let us know.


Please click the In-Kind Donations button to see what items and services our agencies currently need.

In-Kind Donations