November 24, 2019, 10:05 AM HST (Updated November 24, 2019, 10:05 AM)
HOPE Services CEO Brandee Menino. PC: HOPE Services
HOPE Services Hawai‘i announced Thursday a $2.75 million grant from the Day 1 Families Fund is on its way to the nonprofit to address homelessness across the Big Island.
“We are grateful for the generosity and confidence of the Day 1 Families Fund for supporting and believing in our work toward ending family homelessness in Hawai‘i,” said Brandee Menino, CEO of HOPE Services Hawai‘i.
“This is truly an amazing and unexpected gift, not only to Hawai‘i’s most vulnerable families, but to our entire island community. This gift will be used to create a sustained, collective impact for those who experience homelessness — both now and in the future. We intend to grow and leverage it working with the many of our critical partners,” she continued. “I want to say mahalo to the HOPE staff, volunteers and community partners who work tirelessly on the ground, and sometimes literally in the bushes, to support our mission to end homelessness.”
This one-time grant, awarded to organizations making measurable progress on family homelessness, will allow HOPE Services to scale up its supports for families experiencing homelessness, including outreach to those on the street, a street medicine program and an emergency shelter for families in crisis, according to a HOPE Services press release.
The organization also plans to expand its homelessness prevention efforts, which include working with landlords to secure housing for families as quickly as possible.
HOPE Services Hawai‘i is one of 32 nonprofits across the US to receive the second annual Day 1 Families Fund grants, as part of a broad investment by the Day 1 Families Fund to help solve family homelessness. The Day 1 Families Fund issued a total of $98.5 million in grants this year.
The fund worked with an advisory board of homelessness advocates and experts who identified and invited organizations to submit grant proposals to support their efforts to address homelessness.
“Without [HOPE Services], we wouldn’t be where we’re at today. We would have a broken family,” said Jamie, a mother of three who was evicted from her apartment and forced to move her family into her car.
HOPE Services connected her family with a shelter and the resources she needed to find a new permanent home.
“Thanks to them, we got by, and I thank them from the bottom of my heart,” she continued.
The Bezos Day One Fund was launched in 2018 with a commitment of $2 billion and a focus on two areas: funding existing nonprofits that help homeless families and creating a network of new, nonprofit tier-one preschools in low-income communities, the release said.
The Day 1 Families Fund issues annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families. The vision statement comes from the inspiring Mary’s Place in Seattle: no child sleeps outside.
For more information, visit www.BezosDayOneFund.org/Day1FamiliesFund.