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Prior to incorporation in 1910, Palama Settlement was established in 1896 by Central Union Church as the Palama Chapel, and was originally located at King and Liliha Streets.

In 1900, when the Honolulu Fire department set a fire in Honolulu’s Chinatown to quell the outbreak of the Bubonic Plague, the fire grew out of control leaving over 4,000 residents homeless. Seeing the need to assist the many sick and homeless, as well as the waves of new immigrants arriving to the islands, Palama Settlement emerged in 1905 as a social service agency.

Incorporated in 1910, Palama Settlement pioneered the development of many innovative programs to address the ever changing needs of the Kalihi-Palama community and its residents.

As it was a century ago, the agency continues to meet the challenges of an ever increasing population from the Pacific basin mixing into the ethnic blend of the old community. Palama Settlement’s campus and facilities provide the community’s low income and large families with a safe and nurturing environment where children, adults, and families are able to engage in educational, recreational, physical, cultural programs, services, and activities to enhance their well being.