New phase of Maui shelter program; 800 households have not yet established full eligibility

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Information board at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort. PC: Wendy Osher

Gov. Josh Green, M.D., is announcing a transition for the approximately 7,800 people displaced by the wildfires on Maui who are currently housed in hotels.

In total, nearly 8,000 people – roughly 80% of the population affected by the disaster – have been receiving non-congregate shelter and support services in 40 hotels and other lodging since the disaster.

“The State of Hawai‘i remains committed to supporting all those displaced from their homes by the fires, regardless of their nationality or citizenship status, whether via federal, state, private sector or nonprofit assistance. The non-congregate shelter program is an important part of that commitment in the months ahead,” according to a news release issued by the governor.


More than half of the 3,164 households using the non-congregate shelter program have established that they are fully eligible to continue in the Red Cross program until transitional housing, such as an apartment or vacation rental, is available. 

Hundreds more have nearly completed the necessary qualification process, with only one piece of information still needed to secure full eligibility. According to the governor, “a fairly small percentage” has multiple steps remaining to establish that they are eligible to remain in the program.

As of this week, about 800 households in non-congregate sheltering had not yet established full eligibility. Those households are receiving a letter asking them to contact the Red Cross within 48 hours, by phone or in person at the hotels where they are staying, to provide the missing information.


If they do not respond, their access to the non-congregate shelter program may be ended. They may also lose access if:

  • They did not live in the area impacted by the fires
  • Their home was not destroyed or otherwise rendered uninhabitable
  • They were not an owner/renter in the affected area (or a household member of the owner/renter) before the disaster occurred.

“Citizenship is not a factor in determining eligibility, and the Red Cross is not an arm of the government, so we will never share information about immigration status with anyone else,” said Brad Kieserman, vice president for disaster operations and logistics with the Red Cross. “Our whole goal in confirming eligibility is to make sure these services go to the people who were displaced from their homes by the Maui fires.”

Although the formal deadline to apply for non-congregate sheltering was early in September, the Red Cross has continued to accept households on a case-by-case basis if their circumstances prevented them from signing up in time. Friday, Sept. 29, will be the final day to register households for non-congregate sheltering.


“As we take another step forward on the path of recovery, we want to be sure that our assistance efforts for the people are compassionate, transparent and accountable,” said Gov. Green. “We are beginning to move people into long-term rentals where they have more space and household amenities to heal as people, families and a community.”


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