Aloha ‘Ohana and Friends,
We want to acknowledge that our community has been deeply affected by the COVID19 pandemic and stay at home orders. We are in the process of preparing for pandemic suppression and recovery in our wahi pana. We want to thank all of our partners who are remaining strong and calm in this fight to protect our community.
Neighborhood Place of Puna wants to remind our networks that the best way to prevent exponential economic and health harms to our community is by:
1) Practicing Impeccable Health and Hygiene
- Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds (or singing “happy birthday” twice)
- Avoid touching your face
- Regularly clean high-touch surfaces (counters, doorknobs, computers, cellphones)
- Eat well, sleep well, and continue a healthy exercise program
2) Practicing Strict Social Distancing Measures
- Shelter in place. Research Imperial College recommends limiting exposure through social distancing at least ⅔ of the time for 18-months until a vaccine is developed. This means changing businesses and lifestyles for a more remote context when you are able.
- Develop innovations to work and learn from home
- Develop and practice safe cleaning protocols for out-of-home essential employees
- Support safety nets for the unemployed
- Limit contact with others as much as possible, especially immunocompromised and elderly (be sure to check in on ‘ohana and friends to assist with the delivery of essential supplies).
According to a recent report by Imperial College, strict measures in hygiene and social distancing are the only way we can prevent healthcare systems from becoming disastrously overloaded. We want to encourage you to stay home, to “over react” with calm and caution because being safe is our highest priority.
The report also shows that peak effects of deaths from Corona Virus may likely occur in late April or early May, and may continue on through the Fall. There is also a possibility of recurring peaks in viral outbreaks until vaccines are widely available –no sooner than 18-months from now. These long term changes could drastically impact our local community into the long term.
We encourage businesses owners and those who employ gig workers to continue to pay employees and maintain worker contracts as much as possible through this time, to consider shifts in their work schedules and duties to accommodate remote work; to support take-out and delivery for restaurants; unemployment insurance programs; and remote workloads and video conferences for agencies. These measures and a shift to a more remote work economy for Hawaii residents will support a more resilient economy in the next 18 months to come.
Neighborhood Place of Puna will continue to advocate for Federal and State relief and financial protections including emergency paid leave, healthcare, and flexibility for the payment of utility bills and rentals. We know that our own operations and the resiliency of our community will become reliant on government aid. Already, tens of thousands of state residents have filed for unemployment. These levels are unprecedented. In addition to advocating for aid, we want to encourage small and large businesses to consider remote-work economies that can operate within our new context.
Neighborhood Place of Puna is committed to fortifying communities that are dynamic and resilient. All of our programs are still open and running, these include: Family Strengthening Services, Kilauea Disaster Recovery and our Family Shelter at Hale ‘Iki. We are also reaffirming our commitment to families and community members by connecting those in need to available resources during these difficult times. You can donate to support our efforts here.
Our staff is working tirelessly to maintain and clean, safe operations at Family Assessment Center, Hale ‘Iki, and support the 9 resident families who are recovering from homelessness. We are working with our in-home outreach caseworkers in the Family Strengthening and Disaster Case Management programs to ensure proper safety and hygiene while providing continuous client support. We thank you for your patience in observing our new hours of operation and appointment-only policy. If you would like to speak with a case worker or need assistance through one of our programs please contact 965-5550.
Thank you for your strength in building community efforts towards resilience, and for supporting organizations like ours who are providing leadership in social welfare. Please consider a donation to our Covid19 Support Fund to help impacted Hawai’i families. Your donations will support outreach and relief to our communities and clients.
Please utilize and share these resources for those impacted by Covid19:
Emergency Food Assistance Resources
- The Food Basket is our local island resource for Food Bank services. Please be patient with supplies at this time as demands are high. We are working diligently with community partners to increase services.
- The Department of Education will also be providing free grab-n-go lunches to students during the school closures. Call your child’s local school for more information.
- Keiki Meals for 3/26 Prince Kuhio Day (During DOE Closure)
- Catholic Charities – housing vouchers, emergency shelter
- Hope Services – street medicine, housing vouchers, emergency shelter
- Neighborhood Place of Puna – Hale ‘Iki Family Assessment Center / family shelter
Domestic Violence Resources
- Child & Family Services — Domestic Violence and Child Abuse support
Family Strengthening, Education & Childcare Resources
- PATCH Hawaii – Childcare (please note: Lieutenant Governor Josh Green has recommended limiting childcare programs since 3/35 to avoid further spread. Please stay at home with children to isolate if you are able to.)
- Neighborhood Place of Puna – Family Strengthening Services (telesupport available)
- Tutu and Me – Native Hawaiian Family Services
- P.A.R.E.N.T.S. – Providing Awareness Referrals Education Education Therapy Support
- Online Education Resource – For Keiki home from school
Mental Health Resources
- Hui Malama ‘o Na ‘Oiwi – Culture-based Health Programs
- HMSA Quest – Mental Health Resources
- EAP – If you are currently employed you may be eligible for free counseling services through the Employee Assistance Program
- HMSA Quest – Aloha Care — Free healthcare for low and no-income individuals
- American Job Center Hilo — online job applications and training, Hawaii unemployment office support
- Hawaii Unemployment Office –please note: website may be experiencing high traffic-load and wait times
Small Business Resources
- COVID19 Disaster Assistance Loans – SBA small business emergency loans
- State of Hawaii Survey to Small Business Owners – Please respond
- Federal AID Package Business Loans – Stay updated on these upcoming relief measures
- NFIB Small Business Resources
- Student Loan Payment Extensions – Federal student loan borrowers assistance
- Information on the Federal Stimulus Package – Individual and group relief
- Tax Day Extension – Tax day has been extended to July 15th 2020
Neighborhood Place of Puna is here for you. Contact is at 956-5550 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you are in need of support.