Kaulu I Ka Pono Academy

Ke Ala Hou - A New Path.  I can!
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The Kauai Way

Taking Care of Our Own

Kaulu i Ka Pono is the only residential treatment and educational facility for youth suffering from substance abuse on the island of Kauai.

The land under Kaulu i Ka Pono Academy in Lihue has always provided nourishment and health. In ancient times it yielded crops of kalo, fed by the abundant water from Mount Waiʻaleʻale. In more modern history, it’s fertile soil grew sugar cane. Today this verdant five acre parcel hosts a place of healing for youth afflicted by substance abuse.

This 16-bed residential treatment center, set to open this year, will become the Garden Island’s first residential treatment center, eliminating the need to send Kaua’i teens to Honolulu for extended treatment.

Welcome Sign

Along with counseling sessions, students will work toward a trade license or a diploma in classrooms in the education wing, practice sustainable farming on the lush acreage, and be able to visit with their families in large and inviting community spaces.

With support from all segments of Kauai’s community, the graduates of Kaulu i Ka Pono Academy will “grow in righteousness.”

The Need on Kauai

Adolescents in the grip of substance abuse or mental health issues have the greatest chance of healing if they can undergo treatment near the supportive embrace of their loved ones. Kaulu i Ka Pono Academy will foster complete healing by offering a combination of residential, outpatient, and educational programs that do not exist on Kaua’i today. 

Built with State and County funds on land donated by Grove Farm, the Academy is poised to fulfill a dream 20 years in the making.

Edmund Acoba
What always hurt me as a judge or a public defender is that whenever our kids needed help, they had to go off-island. It sends a message to our kids that we cannot take care of our own."

- Edmund Acoba
Kaulu i Ka Pono Academy Board Member, Retired Family Court Judge, Former Public Defender
Jade Waialeale-Battad
This place, this building, stands as a wahi pana, so that our keiki can come here and find themselves. And get immersed in who they are and where they come from based on what our kupuna taught us so that they can regroup, reorganize, find themselves, stand up nice and tall and then go out and holomua and find their way."

- Kahu Jade Waialeale
Kaulu Ka Pono Academy Board Vice President
Tracy Fu v2
When your child is going through this your whole family is wounded. So you’ve got 5- to-7 people wounded walking around in the community. You have a lot of families that are going through that right now. So this place will end up being the nucleus of a lot of healing."

- Tracy Fu
Parent, Community Supporter

One Family's Story

The Facility

Kaulu i Ka Pono Academy’s residential wing can accommodate 16 inpatient adolescents. The campus’ education wing holds two classrooms where inpatient and outpatient youth work toward their diploma or a trade license. A third wing contains a commercial kitchen, a health center and administrative offices. The facility was built with a view toward Mount Waialeale, the piko of Kaua’I, and the Academy board envisions planting trees and placing picnic tables on the 5.8-acre property where families can visit and become part of the healing process for their adolescents.

Our Partners

warren haruki 2

“This facility is intended to serve many, many purposes. One is a residential facility. The second is intensive outpatient, then outpatient, then after care, which means assimilating back into society. And then we also have an educational component. The Department of Education will be hiring a full-time staff of five to teach year-round.”

- Warren Haruki
President and CEO (retired), Grove Farm
mel rapozo 2

“I was a police officer for many years. And oftentimes our kids that needed help just couldn’t get it. We didn’t have a facility on the island. Oftentimes when we called the state or other organizations that had facilities there were no beds available. We failed our kids, we failed our families for so many years. That’s why this is so vital.”

- Mel Rapozo
Kauai County Council Chair
Bill Arakaki

Kaua’i does it the Kaua’i way, meaning we work together as a team. It’s not laid upon one specific group. It’s a total team effort."

- William Arikaki
DOE Kauai Complex Supervisor (retired)