Categorized | Health

Alahou Clean & Sober honored


Alahou Clean & Sober, the only long-term housing facility on the Big Island for individuals with a dual diagnosis of addiction combined with mental illness, was honored in Kona for its work with at-risk individuals. Also, the program received a $30,000 grant-in-aid from the state Legislature.

Half the Board of Directors is comprised of Alahou residents. A Residents Council monitors residents for suspected drug or alcohol use. Alahou is an ohana of 60 family members where everyone participates and supports each other.

“When Poailani pulled out they left 72 residents, several who were severely mentally ill, who would have become homeless if we had not stepped in.” said Sandi McCoy, Executive Director of Alahou Clean & Sober.

“We were left with nothing as Poailani took all the toilet paper, soap, cleaning supplies, everything so we literally rose from ashes just like the phoenix, which is our symbol. Alahou means ‘New Beginning,'” McCoy said.

“Alahou performs a crucial function in the Kona community providing a safe, sober and stable environment for some of our most at-risk individuals.” said Rep. Nicole Lowen (Kailua-Kona, Holualoa, Kalaoa, Honokohau). “Sandi has done a terrific job at Alahou which is more like one big ohana where everyone looks after each other.”

“The grant-in-aid funds from both the State and the County were necessary due to the loss of funds from an annual grant from Shipper’s Wharf and lower funding from United Way.” said Vice Speaker John Mizuno who, along with Lowen, presented McCoy with a certificate recognizing her achievements. “It is so important to keep facilities like Alahou open to help individuals who would have no other option than homelessness.”

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