For nearly three years, 21-year-old Keoni has been the head of his household, working full-time and taking care of his three younger brothers as they completed high school. With support from his pastor, RCD’s Resident Services, and Property Management, he has kept his family together and in their home.
Keoni’s mother moved her family into RCD’s Terrace Glen apartments just a few months before the pandemic hit. The boys were in school via Zoom and their mother was struggling with health issues, but life was stable until she suddenly passed away from COVID-19 in January 2021. She went into the hospital and was gone within four days. The shock and loss the boys felt was completely overwhelming.
“Thank god for Marvin, our property manager,” Keoni says. He was so patient with me and helped me a lot. I had no idea how rent worked when we lost our mom. And Ms. Catherine (RCD’s resident services coordinator), she’s keeping me organized.”
It’s been a tough journey, but now Keoni is hopeful for the future. He discovered his talent for boxing during the pandemic when the studio across the street was “the only place to go.” Now he’s headed for the Olympic trials in Louisiana in early December.
“My mom wanted to move here for a better life. She saw California as a way to get a new opportunity,” says Keoni. “I feel like I owe it to her to see it through. I’m on a mission. My brothers have struggled and I’m just trying to help them move forward to the next step – whatever that is. It’s been hard but so many people believed we could do it.”