Next Step Homeless Shelter

Managed by Waikiki Health Center, the Next Step shelter is a large warehouse that accommodates up to 200 people from diverse backgrounds, about one-third of whom are usually children. There are separate sections for families, couples, and singles. Due to recent changes, the shelter is now open 24 hours a day, every day. Although the 20-hour tutoring program is limited to the schedule below, other research/interview/special projects may be done with approval.

Location: The shelter is located on Forrest Avenue, near Kaka’ako Beach Park and adjacent to the UH Medical School. See Google Map’s instructions

Project Details
Tutoring and Mentoring Focuses on Children — Volunteers MUST commit to a minimum of 20 hours of direct service.

Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m.  to 7:30 p.m,. according to schedule set up with Kapua and Nadine. Volunteers can determine the number of hours they serve within that time frame, on any given evening. However, 2 hours is a preferred length for each visit.

Help kids with homework, play educational games, participate in other tutoring and mentoring activities. You may also be asked to help with other shelter activities.

How do I get started? 
After completing the CUH online S-L registration, send an email to — Share your name, course info (including instructor’s name), your weekly availability for volunteering (within the time frames Sun/Mon/Tues. 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.), and the reason why you’d like to choose Next Step as your service site. Additionally, please tell us which pre-scheduled orientation you will be attending. Click to view Orientation schedule. Orientation is mandatory, and 2 days notice is required before attending. You must have TB clearance. Dress code: dress appropriately – comfortable, “modest & decent” attire. See the directions & photos above to plan for getting to the shelter on time. Students who arrive late will not be allowed to complete that orientation session.

View additional training information.

For returnees:  If you have previously completed the training and served at Next Step, please note that there are limited volunteer positions available. Contact the SL Office as early as possible to inquire about returning. You don’t need to repeat the training, but you need to secure a volunteer placement as early as possible; they are limited. Email with your first & last name, the semester when you previously completed training & service at Next Step, your current SL professor’s name and course information.

Contact Information
On-site Supervisor for keiki mentoring/tutoring project:
Mr. Kapua Tani and Nadine
Kapua and Nadine will be your supervisors while on-site, but questions about Next Step should be directed to
Be sure to register for Service-Learning online first, print your Connection Agreement, and bring it to your orientation for Kapua’s signature.

Location and Directions
The shelter is located on Forrest Avenue, near Kaka’ako Beach Park and adjacent to the UH Medical School. See Google Map’s instructions.

Other Opportunities

  • One-time events or series of activities are welcome. Examples: Service-learning students plan & facilitate Reading Circles/Book Clubs, Educational Game Tournaments (with built-in tutoring/mentoring), clean-ups & other environmental projects, health fairs, etc.
  • Those planning one-time events must attend an Orientation to Next Step
  • Generally, activities involving Shelter members should take place during regular Shelter hours. However, exceptions may be negotiated.
  • The section below describes some special projects at Next Step. These may inspire you to develop your own. To explore ideas you may have, contact the Service-Learning Office

News from Next Step
Recent developments and projects have been the outgrowth of new partnerships with Next Step. Their descriptions below may help inspire your own creative ideas for projects. Please contact the S-L Office to explore your ideas.

  • Ali’i Holokai Spear Fishing leads by example, showing us how to spend “quality time” with kids. From shopping at Walmart for new clothes to an evening out at McDonald’s for dinner, positive role models provide opportunities for constructive activities.
  • “S2S” (Surf to Serve): Surf Icon Dane Kealoha takes kids surfing at Ala Moana Bowls every other Saturday.
  • Each month, volunteers are needed to help with the shelter’s Keiki Birthday events. Go to for more info.
  • Next Step has an on-site aquaponic/hydroponic garden; volunteers can help to care for the garden together.
  • Honolulu Police Department/Waikiki Health Center can use help with the “Kaka’ako Community Watch,” a citizens’ patrol on Wednesdays, 5:30-6:30pm