At Hawaiian Community Assets, Chelsie Evans directs the organization which runs Hawai‘i’s largest Department of Housing and Urban Development-certified housing counseling agency, serving over 1,500 local residents annually with free financial counseling, income supports, and career coaching.
Helping native Hawaiian and local residents fulfill their dreams of homeownership is a natural job path for Chelsie. As the former Executive Director of Maui Hui Malama, an organization that focuses on eliminating barriers for at-risk youth, Chelsie has a deep empathy for what many native Hawaiians face on a daily basis. She has overcome challenges in her own life, and housing security has been a consistent barrier. Her struggles to secure housing while raising her son as a teen mom, and through job loss while taking care of her medically fragile daughter, have not been an easy road. It is these experiences that have led Chelsie to the doorstep of Hawaiian Community Assets, ready to serve and advocate for Hawai‘i’s people.
With her roots in Makawao on Maui, Chelsie has traveled among the islands and has had the privilege of working with the Pana‘ewa Hawaiian Homestead community in advocacy for community development with Lili‘uokalani Trust. From there, she moved on to other organizations that helped her to grow as a native Hawaiian leader and provided her the opportunity to serve survivors of domestic violence, keiki displaced from their homes, and youth with barriers to their educational and career goals.
Chelsie’s keiki Tre’, Lhaia, and Violet have been the core of her desire to serve our community. While being a mom, she balanced her college classes, eventually earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in human services. She spoke at national symposiums for social justice and domestic violence, and founded Wrapped in Wings, an organization which supports critically ill children and their families. In 2019, she was offered and accepted the experience of being the Executive Director of Maui Hui Malama.
Now as Executive Director of HCA, Chelsie is committed to creating a thriving community that gives people options for the life experiences that Hawai‘i has to offer. “My desire is to be part of a larger community that unveils the inequities that Hawai‘i’s people have to go through. I hope that my experience both personally and professionally can help in closing the housing gap, lifting our people in demanding to be a part of change, and to deliver high quality financial and housing programs that are of the utmost need for our community.”