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Piohia Ohana

Photography by Howard Wolff © 2020

Every parent, every person, should have the decent shelter they need to thrive.

Moses Piohia is a Waimanalo native and U.S. Army National Guard veteran. A single father of four, Moses is in pursuit of a better life for his children and future generations.

When Moses first applied for Habitat’s Home Ownership program, poor credit and an unstable financial situation prevented him from being accepted. Determined, Moses worked to improve his financial health, attended Habitat’s financial literacy classes and rebuilt his credit. In 2018, he finally heard the words he had been waiting so long to hear: Welcome to the Habitat Family.

“It was turning point in my life,” Moses recalls.

For decades, Moses and his family shared an overcrowded home in Waimanalo built over 50 years ago. At one point, sixteen people shared the two-bedroom, one bathroom home – some even camping on the lawn. “I couldn’t say no,” Moses remembers, “I had friends and extended-family that needed a place to stay. The hardest part was sharing one bathroom”.

The single walled house, ravaged by Hurricane Iniki, water damage and termites, was unsafe and coming apart at the seams.

Now, Moses and his daughters, Rosie and Rayne, are getting ready to build their Habitat home together. Rosie is in her second year at Windward Community College and Rayne just started sixth grade.

“I’m proud of my girls. As a parent you worry. I ask myself ‘Am I doing enough? Am I doing too much? Am I making the right choices?”

In the last 2 years, Moses has contributed more than 300 Sweat Equity hours building the homes of his Habitat neighbors. Finally, it is his turn.

We will break ground on their home this fall and a new chapter for the Piohia Ohana will begin.


Colton Book © 2020

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