American Red Cross provides update on status of shelters for wildfire disaster survivors
The American Red Cross and their partners continue to work to get disaster assistance to wildfire survivors as quickly as possible. At this time, their focus is on ensuring that Maui residents who cannot return to their homes have a safe place to stay, food to eat, and emotional support.
As of Sunday morning, Aug. 20, approximately 1,800 individuals are reported to be sheltered at six hotel locations around Maui, with the American Red Cross and volunteers assisting with the transition from congregate shelters to hotels.
Displaced individuals still at congregate shelters has dwindled to just 16 people. Shelter space remains available at:
- War Memorial Gymnasium, Wailuku
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Kahului
- South Maui Community Park Gymnasium, Kīhei
An additional shelter is located at Kings Cathedral Church in Kahului. The shelter at the Mayor Hannibal Tavares Community Center closed Sunday, Aug. 20, as no individuals were actively utilizing the shelter at that location.
The Red Cross is working with the Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency (HIEMA) to temporarily move displaced residents to area hotels rather than congregate shelters. This temporary solution will help residents feel more comfortable while long-term accomodation plans are developed. Even as impacted individuals move into hotels, the Red Cross will work with their partners to provide meals, casework support and other disaster relief services for eligible households in the months to come.
Meal Coordination & Delivery:
The Salvation Army remains committed to serving wildfire survivors in collaboration with Maui County and American Red Cross, coordinating with local and nonprofit partners to ensure the provision of meals to those in both congregate and non-congregate shelters. The Salvation Army is also providing emotional and spiritual care to bring help and hope to the Maui community.
Who Qualifies For Support?
To qualify for the non-congregate sheltering program, households must first register with FEMA by visiting http://fema.gov/disaster/4724, by calling 800-621-3362, or by visiting the Disaster Recovery Center on Maui, located at the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College, 310 W Kaʻahumanu Ave., Pilina Building, Kahului.
Eligible households include those who resided in Maui County at the time of the disaster whose homes are now unlivable. Approval for other types of FEMA assistance is not required for inclusion in the hotel program. To qualify through FEMA, individuals seeking assistance and non-congregate shelter (NCS) assistance must provide proof of citizenship.
Additionally, to qualify for NCS, families will need to provide proof of residence in impacted fire areas through proof of rent payment, mortgage statement, or other proof of residency.
Safe Harbor Sheltering:
For undocumented individuals, the American Red Cross will provide shelter if they can meet proof of residency, rental, or property owner burden. Red Cross disaster services are available for everyone in need, regardless of race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation or citizenship status, and all disaster assistance is free.
If you need temporary housing and are not comfortable registering with FEMA, please call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) for help.
After 30 days (Sept. 15, 2023), the American Red Cross will work with anyone who remains in emergency hotel lodging and has not yet shown proof of prior residency in the disaster area to find alternative shelter opportunities.
Where to Get Help:
Anyone who has been displaced because of the wildfires can seek shelter and services at any of these non-congregate shelter locations:
- Hyatt Regency Maui, 200 Nohea Kai Drive, Lahaina.
- Outrigger Kāʻanapali Beach Resort, 2525 Kaanapali Parkway, Lahaina
- Royal Lahaina Resort, 2780 Kekaa Drive
- Honua Kai Outrigger, 130 Kai Malina Parkway, Lahaina
- Maui Seaside Hotel, 100 W Kaʻahumanu Ave., Kahului
- Westin Maui, 2365 Kāʻanapali Parkway, Lahaina
Where to register for a hotel and other assistance:
If you are not already registered for assistance, you can visit any of the NCS locations listed above to register, call 800-621-3362, or visit the Disaster Recovery Center. These locations may change over time. The best way to get current shelter or Red Cross service site information is to call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Wrap-around services offered in non-congregate shelters:
All American Red Cross disaster services will be offered at non-congregate shelters, including feeding, health services, mental health, spiritual care, and disability integration.
Financial assistance for survivors:
In the aftermath of the recent disaster activity, the American Red Cross has worked closely with partners to provide emergency shelter, food, water, relief supplies, emotional support and health services to people in need. Thanks to generous donors, the Red Cross is now starting to get immediate financial assistance into the hands of residents who have severely impacted homes.
This financial assistance will allow people to make their own decisions and prioritize what their families need most to start the recovery process. Funds can help families replace clothes or food, offset transportation costs, replace spiritual or religious items, and support other immediate needs such as verified, disaster-caused health and mental health needs. Spending these funds locally will also support local communities as they begin recovering.
In addition to immediate financial assistance, people are strongly encouraged to apply for federal Disaster Assistance at disasterassistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362.
To be eligible for Red Cross damage-based financial assistance, households must apply for the program and meet the following three requirements:
· Have their pre-disaster primary residence (renter or homeowner) in a confirmed disaster-impacted geographic area in Maui County.
· Have head of household be able to provide proof of identity and residence.
· Have their primary residence either destroyed or have suffered significant structural damage that requires extensive repairs. A residence that is destroyed is one that is a total loss or with damage so severe that repairs are not feasible.
The majority of eligible households will receive an invitation to complete an application through an email, text message or phone call directly from the Red Cross. People who fall into this category include those whose homes for which the Red Cross has contact information and have been verified by either FEMA, the Red Cross or another agency to have sustained major structural damage or have been destroyed.
If a household believes it has qualifying damage but has not received a call, text or email from the Red Cross by Aug. 27, then the household will have an opportunity to visit to make an in-person appointment to enroll for assistance. More information on how to schedule an appointment will be shared before Aug. 28.