CNHA opens Kākoʻo Maui Resource Hub in Kahului to support fire victims
Today the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement opened its Kākoʻo Maui Resource Hub at Maui Mall located at 70 Ka‘ahumanu Avenue in Kahului. The resource hub will focus on providing a cultural approach to help those impacted by the fires best navigate the application process for aid and services.
On a rotating basis, several nonprofit service providers as well as representatives from various agencies will be hosted onsite to connect community members with access to aid and services—it will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“While we’ve been heartened by the amount of support and aid that has flowed into Maui, the decentralized nature of these resources has remained a significant barrier for our lāhui and residents from maximizing the aid that they qualify for,” said Kūhīo Lewis, CEO of CNHA. “We want to reduce the administrative burden as well as help with any hesitation they may have in working directly with government agencies. Our hope is for the resource hub to provide a one-stop-shop for our Maui ʻohana to get the aid and services they need in a streamlined and supportive fashion.”
CNHA’s hub will provide assistance with various services including FEMA applications; food and financial assistance; health insurance; grief counseling/funeral support; insurance/loss mitigation; legal counseling; housing counseling and foreclosure prevention; document replacement assistance; kupuna care; and rent and utility assistance for those who do not qualify for FEMA support.
The hub will be managed by Lahaina resident, Kukui Keahi who lost both her home and job as a result of the fires. Keahi stated, “What our community is going through is devastating. The opportunity to manage CNHA’s hub is rewarding and meaningful for myself and my community. I understand what they’re going through, because we’re going through it together.”
In addition to the hub having FEMA, SBA and Red Cross presence, it will also feature representatives from community organizations including:
- Imua Family Services
- Provides quality care and community through keiki educational programs and other services focusing on Maui, Moloka‘i and Lāna‘i.
- Hawai‘i Community Lending
- Nonprofit mortgage lender, helping local and Hawaiian families. Currently running a Kanaka Anti-Displacement Fund to support the Native Hawaiian population facing challenges such as the Maui wildfire disaster.
- Hawaiian Community Assets
- Provides financial education, grants and loans. Operates Financial Opportunity Centers across the state.
- Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation
- Represents Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners, families and communities with various legal matters.
- Legal Aid Society of Hawai‘i
- Public interest, non-profit law firm dedicated to achieving fairness and justice through legal advocacy, outreach, and education for those in need.
- Papa Ola Lōkahi
- 501(c)(3) that embodies a holistic approach that brings together mind, body and spirit in the pursuit of optimum health and well-being for Native Hawaiians.
There is also direct support available at the hub, such as Foodland vouchers, HEPA air purification systems, and direct payment support. CNHA will also be announcing shortly that the hub will offer free workforce certification classes in HAZWOPER-40 and OSHA-30 for residents interested in clean-up and rebuild related jobs, and that they will be working with local companies on job placement.
In addition, CNHA will be launching a mobile support team on Maui that will be able to take services out into the community. “With so many of our lāhui and residents being temporarily housed in various places around Maui, like hotels, we want to make sure their physical location is not a barrier for access to aid and services,” added Lewis.
For more information about CNHA’s Maui Resource Hub, visit www.HawaiianCouncil.org.