As the word “Gateway” in their name suggests, Pacific Gateway Center’s purpose is to provide a stepping stone into successful entrepreneurship or employment for those who may not have the resources to find a job. This 501C3 nonprofit organization aims to provide counseling and opportunities to a demographic that needs a helping hand. Their focus is on cultivating economic self sufficiency, particularly for clients who are immigrants, refugees, human trafficking victims and low income people on O’ahu.
While I was aware of the systemic issues of poverty, homelessness, and poor education in Hawaii, I was shocked when Skyler Smela, Case Manager for the Social Enterprise Program at Pacific Gateway Center informed me that Hawai’i is also a large hub for human trafficking. Many people desperately need an organization like PGC to help them get the counseling they need to get on their feet and become entrepreneurs to earn back their financial independence and freedom.
PGC’s particular area of expertise is to help create a bridge for those who have been lacking in education often not past junior high or have a language barrier to cross. The Social Enterprise Program gives a leg up to small business owners and nonprofits, many of them farmers or value added food product businesses with counsel and micro loans. These clients can then hire more of their clients creating a mutually beneficial environment for all parties.
Oahu CSM works with Pacific Gateway Center as one of the CSAs that helps to bridge the gap between farm to table and support small local businesses. You can feel good about purchasing food through Oahu CSM because you support an entire food value chain based here in Hawaii – from this local CSA, to a humanitarian nonprofit, to the local businesses creating produce and handmade value added foods.
Aside from the SE Program, PGC has also placed their focus during these trying times on making food available to our kupuna and to people who have lost their income. They have also put on tasting events featuring their clients’ products and produce (currently on hold due to COVID regulations) and hope to continue to grow and evolve as a food hub for our local community.
How to Support Pacific Gateway Center
We can support this organization, their clients, and the local community by purchasing individual amounts of produce through Oahu CSM or, for wholesale/bulk inquiries visit their website! You can also learn more about their services and their team. Be sure to follow PGC on Instagram @pacificgateway and Facebook too.
Want to become a part of the PGC community? If you are a local farmer, restauranteur, or a food value added producer interested in contributing, please contact Pacific Gateway Center at [email protected].
Did you know?
- According to hawaii.gov, 85-90% of Hawai’i’s food is imported making our communities extremely vulnerable in the case of natural disasters that cause shipment delays.
- In turn, supporting the success of local farmers support the workers and their families and aids in making our local economy self efficient.
- Local farms support genetic diversity rather than large expanse monocultures that are bad for the soil and for the environment.
Reporting yourself or others you suspect may be victims of human trafficking:
Click Here for National Human Trafficking Hotline or call 1-888-373-7888 or Text 233733