March 25, 2020 Update:
We are quickly locating units where individual families who are experiencing homelessness can seek shelter while being connected to services. These facilities include congregations as well as a State-owned facility. We are also operating a daily drop-in center where families who are experiencing homelessness can come to shower, eat meals, access the internet, do laundry, get basic hygiene products and diapers, and get connected to services. We will continue to update you all as we develop new services to support our community through this challenging time.
March 13, 2020
Family Promise of Hawaiʻi ‘Ohana,
As a community organization, we are committed to doing everything we can to preserve the safety and health of our clients, volunteers, staff, and community. While we have not had any confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 among anyone connected to our organization, we are monitoring the developments of the virus very closely and we have decided to implement a social distancing plan for Family Promise. It is with a heavy heart that we announce we will be suspending the operation of our emergency shelter rotation model through mid-April. But, we will be ramping up our prevention programming. The purpose of this plan is to protect the health of our clients, staff, volunteers, and community as a whole and to play our part to slow the spread of this virus in our community.
Rotational Shelter: As of 3/13/2020, we will suspend bringing any new families into our shelter program. We have worked with a partner congregation who will be opening their facilities to our current families to host them for the next two weeks. During this time, our team will be working tirelessly to find alternative accommodations for these families. We are working with landlords and utilizing rental assistance funding to try and help them move into permanent housing. For those we are unable to move into housing, we are working with partners to place them in alternative shelter facilities. Each family is working closely with their case manager and we have an active plan in place to support the families who are currently enrolled in our shelter programming. We are planning to re-open operations in mid-April and sadly expect a high demand for the shelter once we continue operations. Our Manager of Community Engagement, Marissa Commey, will be reaching out to all our congregation partners directly to follow-up.
Prevention and Diversion: Unfortunately, while we have had to suspend our shelter programming, homelessness is not suspended. Our services are still critically needed. We are continuing to take steps to avert potential new cases of homelessness through rental assistance programs and eviction prevention. Low-income families are going to be hard-hit by this health crisis through the loss of wages, jobs, transportation, childcare, and more. They will need our support now and into the future. Please consider donating to Family Promise’s rental assistance fund during this difficult time so we can provide a critical safety net for vulnerable families in our community. We will continue to serve families through our prevention and diversion programming at our Honolulu (548-7478) facility. Families in need of assistance should call our office before dropping by. To protect the safety of our staff, family members who are currently sick will be unable to enter the facility.
Community Activities: We will be canceling all community activities through mid-April, including our Girl Scouts program. We have also canceled our upcoming cookie sale which was scheduled for tomorrow, 3/14, at Safeway Pali.
How You Can Help: While volunteer opportunities are suspended at this time, we need our community now more than ever! Here are a few ways you can help:
- Give Financially! The demand for our services is increasing due to the economic impacts of COVID-19. Please consider giving at https://familypromisehawaii.org/donate/ or via mail: 245 N. Kukui St. Suite 101 Honolulu, HI 96817
- Supply Donations: We are in need of supplies for cleaning, sanitation, and infant care at this time.
- Rental Units: If you know of any affordable rental units, please connect us! Reach out to our Housing Case Manager, Morgan Barrett, directly at 466-4243 or via email [email protected].
This is an unprecedented effort, the likes of which we haven’t experienced before. Let’s come together during this time to meet this challenge as a community!
With Much Aloha,
Samantha “Sam” Church, MSW