About BTG

BTG is a group of diverse stakeholders representing the rural counties of Kauai, Maui, and Hawaii that carries out the operating and planning responsibilities of the Continuum of Care, as defined in the HEARTH Act. BTG’s composition reflects the unique nature of each island comprising the CoC. BTG promotes a community-wide commitment to the goals of preventing and ending homelessness by quickly re-housing homeless households while minimizing trauma and dislocation.

Bridging The Gap:

  • Provides the framework for a comprehensive, well-coordinated, and clear planning process
  • Provides funding for efforts to prevent homelessness or rapidly re-house homeless individuals and families
  • Strengthens coordination between CoC-funded activities, other HUD-funded activities, and local government or private resources directed at ending homelessness
  • Promotes access to and effective use of mainstream programs
  • Optimizes self-sufficiency among individuals and families experiencing homelessness
  • Measures the effectiveness in reducing homelessness through system-wide and project level evaluation of the community’s response and change strategies if necessary

Bridging The Gap's Mission

To end homelessness across the Counties of Hawaii, Kauai and Maui through collaborative, coordinated and effective service delivery by agents for change, unified by a common vision where all Hawaii's people have safe, decent, affordable housing.

2022 BTG Board of Directors

A minimum of nine individuals comprise the BTG Board. Community Alliance Partners (Hawaii County), Kauai Community Alliance and the Maui Homeless Alliance select three individuals from their respective membership at least every other year. One out of the three is a representative of its corresponding county government. The second delegate is the chair of the local chapter, or a designated representative. The remaining member of the counties' delegation is chosen from each chapter’s general voting membership.

BTG Board Officers

Chair - Maude Cumming
Vice Chair - Paul Normann
Secretaries - Makana Kamibayashi and Thelma Akita-Kealoha
Chair Emeritus - Brandee Menino

BTG Board Members

Member - David Nakama
Member - Sharon Hirota
Member - Toni Symons
Member - Melody Lopez
Member - Ashton Varner

Collaborative Applicant

Ka Mana O Na Helu Representative - Alison Hinazumi
Ka Mana O Na Helu Representative - Carlos Peraro

Alison Hinazumi,  M.B.A., Executive Director

Executive Director.  Alison has more than 10 years of experience working with local nonprofit organizations with an emphasis on corporate level training and event production.  Alison is currently responsible for managing technical aspects of the Coordinated Entry System (CES) for the Neighbor Islands as well as developing and integrating Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) training curriculum and technical resources on a statewide basis.

Carlos Peraro, B.S., Director of Operations/HMIS Administrator

Carlos has over 15 years of experience working in Hawaii's homeless and human services sectors.  Over the last 10 years, he has provided an array of analytical and evaluative services to the State of Hawaii, City and County of Honolulu, and numerous public and private organizations statewide.  Current responsibilities include report design and development, expanding CES automation, grant writing, data analysis, program evaluation, and the provision of technical support to end users and clients.

Heidi Sewell, B.S., Support Specialist II

Heidi has more than 25 years of experience working in the non-profit and social services sectors.  She currently provides technical guidance to providers that utilize the HMIS, as well as support to address program specific issues.  Heidi is responsible for providing detailed monthly and quarterly reports to the executive team and key funders.  She also provides ongoing ad-hoc reports to homeless service providers, focused on improving program outcomes.

Tien Lum, B.S., Software Developer

Tien is the owner of Hybrid International, LLC, a software company that provides database solutions in the human services sector.  Tien has 30 years of experience in developing information systems for public and private companies.  Tien was the lead architect and developer for Hawaii’s first HMIS in 2002.  Tien currently provides consulting and programming services for the HMIS in the form of customized reports, forms, dashboards and business intelligence processes.  Tien was integral in developing the automated CES currently being utilized by the Neighbor Islands CoC, Bridging the Gap.

Governance Charter

BTG is comprised of three distinct local chapters representing Kauai, Maui, and Hawaii counties. The BTG Board of Directors executes the responsibilities of the CoC through its officers and board members selected by each chapter. The BTG Governance Charter details the roles and responsibilities of the Board of Directors, committees, HMIS Lead, and Collaborative Applicant; and describes policies and procedures related to operational duties and standards of conduct.

Organizational Chart

The following chart defines the hierarchy within BTG. It identifies lines of authority and communication between each group.

Coordinated Entry System

An effective Coordinated Entry System (CES) is a critical component to a community's efforts to to prevent and end homelessness. BTG's CES Manual establishes written standards for consistent, transparent and impartial access to housing and support services interventions. The written standards describe who will be prioritized for assistance and define specific roles and responsibilites of access points and county conveners.

HMIS Participation Agreement

This agreement addresses roles and responsibilities of the HMIS Lead and Contributing HMIS Organizations for the ongoing implementation and utilization of the HMIS. This document should only be completed and submitted to the HMIS Lead after the BTG BOD has formally approved the organization’s HMIS access.

HMIS Policies & Procedures

BTG’s HMIS Policies and Procedures provides an administrative framework for the operation of the HMIS. It provides links to federal reporting resources, administrative forms, local reports, and identifies how the HMIS is structured. It provides steps for reviewing and improving data quality, while laying the foundation to ensure that privacy and security standards are maintained.

HUD Notice: CPD 17-01 Establishing Requirements for CES

This notice establishes requirements related to the development and use of a coordinated entry system. It provides guidance on additional policies that CoCs and Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) recipients should consider incorporating into written policies and procedures to achieve improved outcomes for people experiencing homelessness.

Rapid Re-housing and Permanent Supportive Housing Projects

This document sets overarching standards for rapid re-housing and permanent supportive housing projects funded through the ESG and CoC Program. The document includes links to various resources to aid providers in effectively managing these projects. BTG ratified this document in Nov 2020.

BTG invites all interested stakeholders to attend and participate in chapter meetings and encourages membership through the local chapter. Membership information and meeting schedules for Kauai Community Alliance (KCA), Maui Homeless Alliance (MHA), and Community Alliance Partners (CAP) are provided below.

Kauai Community Alliance (KCA)
  • Chair: Makana Kamibayashi
  • Vice Chair: Ashton Varner
  • Secretary: Billie-Kay Yokoyama
  • Treasurer: Melody Lopez
  • County Rep: Ashton Varner
  • Meetings: 2nd Wed of each month, 10:00am - 12:00pm via Zoom
  • KCA Membership: New agencies interested in joining should fill out the KCA Membership Packet and submit to the KCA Executive Team listed above along with membership dues.

Maui Homeless Alliance (MHA)
  • Chair: Thelma Akita-Kealoha
  • Vice Chair: Maude Cumming
  • County Rep: David Nakama
  • Meetings: 3rd Wed of each month, 12:00pm - 1:00pm via Zoom
    • Please reach out to Sherry Kupau (sherry@flcmaui.org) for meeting and membership information.
  • MHA Membership: New agencies interested in joining should fill out the MHA Membership Application and submit along with membership dues to the contacts listed on page 3.

Community Alliance Partners (CAP)
  • Co-Chairs: Paul Normann & Brandee Menino
  • County Rep: Sharon Hirota
  • Meetings: 4th Wed of each month, 9:00am - 10:30am via Zoom
    • Please reach out to Toni Symons (tsymons.uluwini@gmail.com) for meeting and membership information.
  • CAP Membership: New agencies interested in joining should fill out the CAP Membership Packet and email to Toni Symons at the address noted above.
  • Website: Community Alliance Partners

**Dates and locations are subject to change and will be announced via local chapter meetings and email distribution lists.

2022 Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

The BTG Board of Directors strives for transparency and objectivity in its operations. The following are the meeting minutes for 2022.

Board of Directors (BOD) Meeting Minutes Archives


Monday - Friday 8:00am - 4:30pm


Veteran's Day - Nov 11, 2022
Thanksgiving Day - Nov 24, 2022
Christmas Day - Dec 26, 2022 (observed)