A Winning Chance At Life

By Mary Scot-Lau
Wednesday - December 02, 2009 Share

By Mary Scot-Lau,
Women In Need
Founder & Executive Director

Women In Need first met Lauren 12 years ago when she was pregnant with her fifth child at Mary Jane Program (a home for pregnant, homeless mothers-to-be) in Honolulu. She was mad at the world, scared and miserable. She was still struggling with drugs and prostitution, the way of life she had come to know so well in the past 15 years.

Lauren would go on to graduate from WIN’s life-skills class and domestic violence/anger management class. She’d stay clean for a period of time, but she continued to struggle with relationships, trust issues and drugs over the next several years.

Lauren ended up in the Women’s Community Correctional Center in 2005. There she reconnected with WIN yet again and enrolled in anger management/domestic violence classes. WIN staff members also made sure her daughter was taken care of for Christmas and birthdays while she was incarcerated.

Upon her release, Lauren had no money, no place to live and no idea how she could get her daughter back. It was two weeks before Christmas.

Both men and women learn valuable lessons from Women In Need classes. (front, from left) Jesse Hidaro Jr., Luana Hanawahine, (back) Mark Samuela, WIN facilitator Toni Avrett, Alrose Stanley, Shad Rosario and Nathan C.K. Kipi

WIN secured a room for her and her daughter in a transitional living home. A WIN staff member picked her up at the prison, took her for breakfast and brought her to the shelter. She was reunited with her daughter before the holidays, and WIN staff “adopted” both Lauren and her daughter for Christmas.

Today, Lauren is a successful manager of a skin-care product in a large department store in Honolulu and is proud to say she has remained clean for four years. Her daughter is 12 years old and thriving.

This Thanksgiving, Lauren called to ask if WIN could help her “adopt” a family at the same shelter she was at so many years ago. She wants to give hope to another struggling, scared mother, like she was, and show them there is hope.

WIN serves more than 450 women, children and men on the islands of Oahu and Kauai every year. Our mission is to empower at-risk families by helping them develop the basic tools and skills of personal development and self-sufficiency that enable them to live in safe and stable environments, and in healthy relationships. Our long-term goals are to open locations statewide and move clients into transitional living and treatment facilities while providing the necessary services to enrich the lives of our people of Hawaii and to end the cycle of domestic violence, substance abuse and homelessness.

Many organizations and individuals donate their services or volunteer their time, and financial support is vital to our continued success. Please make donations, which are tax deductible, to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 696-1996. Visit our Web site, www.win-hawaii.org, for more.



Hawaii charitable organizations may send requests for space in either Proof Positive or the free advertisement below to dchapman@midweek.com.

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