Kaiser Permanente has donated $95,000 to HOPE Services on Hawai‘i Island.
The grant is focused on providing health care services to homeless individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic. Kaiser also awarded $50,000 to Hawai‘i Homeless Healthcare Hui on O‘ahu.
HOPE Services is the largest homeless services provider on the Big Island. Grant funding will go toward HOPE’s Street Medicine and Mobile Outreach program which provides health and social services developed specifically to address the unique needs and circumstances of individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness by delivering care directly to them in their own environment.
“Public, private, and nonprofit organizations must come together to address the critical issue of homelessness in Hawai‘i, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. John Yang, president and medical director, Hawai‘i Permanente Medical Group. “We must work to ensure our most vulnerable populations do not fall through the cracks. When individuals have access to the health care and mental health services they need, they have more opportunities to thrive.”
HOPE provides financial management resources; outreach programs to connect people experiencing homelessness with health, housing and social services; and disaster relief assistance, including short-term emergency shelters. The organization is also working to decrease the likelihood of transmission and community spread of COVID-19 among homeless individuals and medically-vulnerable populations.