HAWAIʻI ISLAND – The Bezos Day 1 Families Fund is granting $98.5 million to 32 nonprofits around the United States that are assisting families experiencing homelessness.

image by David Corrigan

(BIVN) – HOPE Services Hawaii has been selected to receive a $2.75 million from the Bezos Day One Families Fund, one of only 32 non profits around the country to share in the $98.5 million in grants. The nonprofit organization based in Hilo is dedicated to ending homelessness in Hawaiʻi.

The Bezos Day One Families Fund was launched in 2018 by Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.

“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 Hawaii,” said Brandee Menino, CEO of HOPE Services Hawaii. “This is truly an amazing and unexpected gift, not only to Hawaii’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. 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.”

According to a media release:

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. 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 Hawaii is one of 32 nonprofits across the U.S. 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. This year, the grant recipients from around the country include: Bethany House Services, Catholic Charities Eastern Washington, Catholic Social Services Alaska, Coburn Place, Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, Covenant House, Family Gateway, FamilyAid Boston, ForKids, Goodwill Industries of Northern Michigan, Great Lakes Community Action Partnership, Homeless Services Network of Central Florida, HOPE Services Hawaii, HopeWorks, Interim Community Development Association, Lafayette Transitional Housing Center, Mary’s Place Seattle, MIFA, Our Family Services, Pathways of Hope, St. Joseph Center, St. Joseph’s Villa, St. Stephen’s Human Services, St. Vincent de Paul, The Road Home, The Road Home Dane County, The Whole Child, UNITY Of Greater New Orleans, Upward Bound House, Welcome House of Northern Kentucky, West Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness, and YWCA Columbus.

“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.”

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 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

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