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White House Author

Desiree Vea

When Desiree Vea returned home to Hawaii in 2009 after attending college in New York, homelessness was at its highest since 1997, with its highest rates among Native Hawaiian. Moved by the needs of her community, Desiree began developing a curriculum to help homeless families transition to permanent rentals. During this time, Desiree helped the community see how important their voice was and as the 2011 legislative session began in Hawaii, she conducted her first workshop of 12 people who came together to organize a poverty simulation at the capitol. This group continued with her support to create community cash-flow projects, multi-family markets and micro-enterprise. Now they are rebuilding their community on their own and creating models for other communities.