`Ohana Makamae, Inc., started in April 1999, is a Family Resource and Counseling Center for the people of the Hana District, located on the island of Maui in the state of Hawai'i. The district, often referred to as "the last Hawaiian place", is one of the most isolated areas in Hawai'i.
A single two-lane road joins Hana to the nearest location of basic services, more than two hours driving time away. The native Hawaiian population is estimated at 65% of the 3,000 population.
Hana has one of the poorest health profiles in Hawai'i and is federally designated as a medically under-served community. It also has one of the highest per capita consumption rates of beer in the nation, which is an indicator of the extent of the social problems that exist within the community.
In the age group of 13-25, it is estimated that 14.8% use some form of illicit drug and 33.8% participate in binge consumption.
Hana district (East Maui) residents ranked drug abuse, alcohol abuse, and child abuse as the top three health and human concerns.
Located on the Eastern Shore of the island of Maui, Hana's geographic remoteness has isolated the community in an epidemic of negative health influences (i.e. abuse of alcohol, marijuana, "ice", cocaine and "crack")
that threatens the entire `ohana (extended family).
Hana is literally an island on an island on an island. In fact, it is cheaper and faster to travel from the neighboring islands of Moloka'i and Lana'i to Central Maui for services than it is to residents of Hana.
The primary cause for this is the 4-5 hour (round trip) commute on the Hana Highway, which is famous for its 700+ turns, 1,000-ft cliffs and 54 single lane bridges. Most families feel isolated from professional help and counseling. Many Central Maui agencies that would like to assist the families in Hana have limited budgets and staff and simply cannot afford to send them to Hana.