On Friday afternoon March 15th, (2013) Grammy-award winner John Cruz talked story and performed for Aloha House clients and staff at the non-profit’s residential program upcountry location. Aloha House offers a range of outpatient and residential programs for families and individuals in Maui County affected by addiction, substance abuse and mental-health issues.
Cruz, who was on island to open for Bonnie Raitt at the MACC on Friday night, was joined by friends Jarrett Roback and Substance Abuse Counselor and local musician Mitch Kepa, who has worked for Aloha House for seven years. Kepa, a high school classmate and long time friend of Cruz, works with clients in the residential living program, which is a structured and clean living environment for adults that provides individual and family counseling, case management services, skill-building classes, recovery education, as well as assistance in developing sober support structures.
“We are so lucky to have had John perform not once, but twice for us. His music and song-writing has been such an inspiration for myself and others, and I thought that his message would be well-received by our clients,” said Kepa. “His music is down to earth, helps people relax and is appropriate for an organization like ours that emphasizes the spirit of aloha and Hawaiian culture.”
Men and women in the residential living program sang and drummed along in the group therapy room as Cruz played the guitar and sang hits such as Island Style, Shine On and Eye of the Hurricane. “Listening to John lifted my spirits and made me feel hopeful and recharged. It was great seeing other clients and staff members enjoying the music together, as one,” said Micah, an Aloha House client.
Aloha House works with other local non-profits Maui Youth & Family Services and Malama Family Recovery Center to provide a continuum of care and ensure that every individual and family has the help they need to achieve and maintain a foundation for lasting recovery and well-being.