January 24, 2022, 11:14 AM HST * Updated January 27, 5:25 AM
Kaiser Permanente Hawaiʻi awarded grants totaling $225,000 to support three front-line community organizations serving people experiencing homelessness, including Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Centers on Maui.
The grants aim to reach the most underserved communities in Hawaiʻi, including transgender individuals and individuals in rural areas, with a comprehensive array of clinical and social services.
Ka Hale A Ke Ola was awarded a $75,000 grant to support its COVID-19 Impact Client Assistance Program, which provides financial relief to people experiencing homelessness.
The assistance will help selected individuals and families cover up to $1,000 in expenses, including transportation, administrative fees to obtain documents needed to get a job or apply for government assistance, and other costs that are incurred as program participants work to secure permanent housing.
Ka Hale A Ke Ola has two locations: Central Center (670 Waiale Road in Wailuku, 808-242-7600) and Westside Center (15 IpuʻAumakua Lane in Lahaina, 808-662-0076).
The other grants:
Hope Services Hawaii ($75,000):The grant is for its Clinical Behavioral Health Program. Funds will be used to provide case management, care coordination, psychiatric services and substance abuse treatment to people experiencing homelessness in rural areas on Hawaiʻi Island.
HI Health and Harm Reduction Center($75,000):The grant funds the Oahu-based Kuaana Project, which provides homelessness prevention services to transgender individuals experiencing economic insecurity. The grant will enable the organization to conduct housing needs assessments for current and prospective Kuaana Project program participants; facilitate financial literacy and life skills workshops; and host an educational event that highlights the obstacles sexual and gender minorities face when seeking safe housing.
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Hawaiʻi has the second-highest rate of homelessness per capita in the nation. Organizations that serve people who are experiencing homelessness have faced significant challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding from the grants directly supports services estimated to reach 400 individuals.
“At Kaiser Permanente, we believe that housing is health,” said Greg Christian, Hawaiʻi market president, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals. “You cannot have good health without safe and stable housing. That’s why we are dedicated to addressing housing insecurity, especially in our island’s most underserved communities. Together, with our community allies, we are expanding access to equitable, integrated care that addresses the clinical, social and economic needs of our community.”
Kaiser Permanente is working to improve the conditions for health in the communities it serves. These grants are the latest in a series of contributions from Kaiser Permanente Hawaiʻi to help residents throughout the state receive vital support services that impact their overall health. In 2021, Kaiser Permanente dedicated $3.8 million through community grants and scholarships to improve health and wellness in Hawaiʻi, according to a company press release.