Finding Hope and Never Giving Up
“Finding Hope and Never Giving Up"
Shane Galdeira and the Family Intervention Services Program in Hilo
Shane Galdeira was a little guy as he jumped from school to school and home to home, first on Oahu and then on Hawaii Island, he and his mom trying to escape his abusive father. “I remember ten different schools, just on Oahu,” he says. On Hawaii Island and in 4th grade, Child Protective Services finally got involved, his mother struggling to find a safe life for them.
Shane soon found a home and safe place at The Salvation Army’s Family Intervention Services in Hilo, first in their short-term facility and then the group home. “Looking back, I see that I gained strength through it all,” Shane says now, taking a break from his successful commercial painting business to talk about his experiences. “I even went by there last month, wanting to paint the facility for them, to show them how much I appreciate the difference they made in my life.”
None of it was easy, Shane recalls, but he talks a lot about Uncle Glen, Uncle Willy, and Uncle Scott, all of whom were there for him, no matter what he needed. “I think about it now, and I imagine them at home, having dinner with their wife and kids, and when the phone rings and it’s somebody like me, needing their help, they drop everything and come,” he says. “I don’t know how much money they make, but it can’t be enough to cover everything they do for us.”
That’s the purpose of The Family Intervention Services, to provide whatever skills, support, love, and guidance young people need to find their way so that they can pursue their future. From emergency shelter to prevention programs, the safe house to transitional living skills programs, FIS gives young people a fresh start.
After graduating from FIS, Shane landed in a foster home that kept him safe and was there for him through high school and as he headed off to college. But even then, FIS kept an eye on him. “I remember one time, the auntie I’d worked with while at FIS saw me sitting on the curb crying, because I didn’t have the money for my first semester of college,” he says. “Right there, she just wrote the check.”
Today, Shane and his partner (who he met in college) are raising their three children while holding down demanding and satisfying jobs—her as a chef at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and him managing his painting business. His mom helps with the kids, “making up for lost time,” he says.
“Plenty of times, I wanted to give up,” he says. “But I didn’t. That’s what I tell people: Never give up. Never ever give up.”