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May 21, 2018

Hawaii County and State government officials have asked HOPE Services Hawaii to coordinate social service providers assisting residents in Puna impacted by the lava flow.  Brandee Menino, HOPE Services CEO, reported coordination as follows:

  • For non-perishable food and water – donations made to the Food Basket, Inc.
  • For clothing, other supplies and meals at shelter – donations made to the Salvation Army.
  • Agency providing rental assistance for families with minor children experiencing homelessness, at risk homeless or with a Section 8 voucher – refer to HOPE Services HI.
  • Agency providing some financial assistance – refer to Catholic Charities Hawaii.
  • Catholic nurses are providing assistance at shelters managed by the County Parks and Rec Dept. in partnership with the American Red Cross. 

Hope Services is coordinating response for residents displaced by the eruptions who need short, medium, and long-term housing.  In the past week, HOPE Services along with the County and various business partners have worked hard to explore options for each duration of need. 

Hope Services strongly encourages Catholic parishes on Hawaii Island to lend a hand to support the immediate needs of those persons who have been displaced (meals at shelter, food and water donations, etc.).  Anyone who has housing available for either, short, medium or long-term are asked to reach out to East Hawaii team lead, Teyora Graves, tgraves@hopeserviceshawaii.org or 747-1041. For short-term housing, some ideas include utilizing parish space for safe parking zones or access to shelter inside the parish. Many evacuees are waiting it out, uncertain of when they can return home. 

At the time of this writing, 44 structures have burned down, most are homes.  22 fissures exist, with at least half a dozen actively spewing lava.

Recovery Information Assistance Center (RIAC)

The RIAC is open Monday – Friday from 9am to 3pm at the Pahoa Community Center and can be reached during these operational hours.  Download a pdf of the services available at the RAIC HERE.