Sanguan met his wife Felonelia on a flight in the Philippines. They quickly fell in love and after a short courtship married in Sanguan’s home country of Thailand. Felonelia, originally from the Philippines, was a Kaua‘i resident and wanted her new blended family of two daughters, three grandchildren, and a grandmother to live with her. After petitioning for all the family members to move to Kaua‘i, they were once again reunited. However, moving there was only part of the challenges they would face.
Moving to a new place, let alone a new country, presents a whole set of challenges. For Sanguan, Felonelia, and their family, this included learning a new language, employment opportunities, school and education challenges, citizenship, and more.
The family found Child & Family Service, and requested our help in finding support to help them with their new American lifestyle. They were put in the Immigrant Resource Center program. Through this program, they were connected with a specialist who worked with the family, advising them on what community resources were available to them. The specialist was able to help them contact the Social Security office to acquire social security numbers, contact the public health department for TB tests, help the children enroll in public school and apply for programs such as A+ and the free lunch program, and help the adults secure jobs. The program even supported the family’s basic needs, giving them food and clothing through the CFS Hale Ho‘omalu Neighborhood Place food pantry and clothing closet.
Then when tragedy struck, CFS was still there to help. Felonelia suffered a stroke and needed to stay in a hospital to recover. The specialist once again connected the family to resources to help them get through this difficult period, including referrals to the County of Kaua‘i Agency on Elderly Affairs.
Through the trials and challenges that Sanguan’s family faced, they were able to pull through as an ‘ohana with the help of Child & Family Service. CFS was there, no matter what, to assist them when they needed it the most.
For more on the Immigrant Resource Center on Kaua‘i, click here!