About Us

Residential Youth Services and Empowerment (RYSE), a 501(c)(3) operates an access center where Hawai‘i’s street youth are assessed and referred to appropriate support services. Youth in the target range of 18-24 have access to a safe temporary living space specifically designed to address their unique needs. The access center offers coordinated programs and services to build a path towards reintegration into mainstream society.

Our Mission

Our mission is to provide the continuum of support that empowers Hawaii’s street youth to move beyond homelessness.

Our Team

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Carla Houser

Executive Director

Carla Houser has served for over five years as the Program Director for Youth Outreach at Waikiki Health; previous to that position she served in a similar capacity for the City of Long Beach in California. She has a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. One of the greatest assets that Carla offers is her extensive network within the providers of homeless services. Carla’s connections and standing within this community helped create the opportunity with Kawailoa Youth and Family Wellness Center. These assets will be important in coordinating services with other providers.

Meet the Board of Directors

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Lee Miyashiro

Youth Outreach Worker

Lee Miyashiro is our Youth Outreach Worker and he has adopted the slogan "Island wide, 24-7!" With over 9 years experience in the human service field, Lee specializes in providing compassionate, non judgmental care to homeless and at risk youth and mentally ill adults. Prior to joining RYSE, Lee served as an outreach worker for the Hale Kipa Youth Outreach program, and filled residential advisor and guest relation specialist roles at Mental Health Kokua and IHS. He is a certified HIV/Hep C testing counselor and has training in trauma informed care, crisis prevention and intervention, substance abuse, harm reduction, suicide prevention, and motivational interviewing. Most importantly of all, he cares about people!

Apply for a Position

Please email your resume and cover letter to info@rysehawaii.org and include the position title you are applying for in the subject line.

Housing and Employment Navigator

The Housing and Employment Navigator functions as a case manager, helping to screen the youth seeking service and direct them to appropriate resources whether at the access center or through another service provider.

Residential Advisor

Two residential advisors are required for each living unit. At the Kawailoa facility this means two residential advisors per “cottage”. Residential advisors will work three thirteen-hour overnight shifts per week. Five residential advisors will be needed to cover the fourteen shifts each week.

Outreach Worker

The Outreach Worker gets out into the community to help guide youth to the access center or to appropriate resources with other service providers, where appropriate.

Other Support

Volunteers, practicum students, and interns are welcome. These individuals will support and assist the access center and outreach work in the community.

Who We Help

RYSE focuses on helping transition age youth (ages 18-24). Current shelter services for adults on Oahu do not provide the unique services required by this age cohort to fill potential gaps in their development. According to the 2017 Point-In-Time count, 89 percent of unaccompanied youth on the streets of Oahu are within the 18-24 year-old age range and sleeping unsheltered.

According to the National Network for Youth:

  • Being disconnected from educational systems often culminates in dropping out prior to completion of a high school degree, and someone who has not completed high school is four times more likely to be unemployed than a college graduate.
  • Barely half of young adults ages 18-24 are currently employed and the picture is starker for homeless youth who have little opportunity to develop academic credentials and job skills.
  • Homeless youth living on the streets are often victims of commercial sexual exploitation and labor trafficking.
  • Up to 50% of street youth will have a pregnancy experience, and most of those will give birth while still homeless.
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