Funding for The Institute for Human Services will combat COVID-19 spread among the homeless in Honolulu.
HONOLULU — Kaiser Permanente Hawaii announced it will award a $150,000 grant to The Institute for Human Services, Hawaii’s most comprehensive human services agency focused exclusively on ending and preventing homelessness. Individuals experiencing homelessness face an increased risk of contracting and transmitting COVID-19 due to chronic and pre-existing health conditions and limited access to basic sanitation.
The funding will support IHS’s COVID-19 Homeless Triage and Transfer, or HTAT, program, which aims to minimize the spread of COVID-19, by providing proactive outreach and case management to homeless individuals in urban Honolulu. HTAT moves chronically homeless individuals off the streets and provides them with long-term services matching individual housing and care needs.
“Even the highest-quality health care cannot serve as a substitute for stable housing,” said John Yang, MD, president and medical director for the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group. “We’re honored to support The Institute for Human Services with its steadfast work to address Hawaii’s homelessness crisis, which has been exacerbated this year by COVID-19. Even without factoring in the pandemic, the life expectancy of those who are chronically homeless can be 20 to 30 years less than the average.”
“Housing and health are inextricably linked, and these connections become even clearer during public health crises,” said Connie Mitchell, executive director for The Institute for Human Services. “We are grateful for this generous grant from Kaiser Permanente Hawaii which will allow us to expand our services to reach vulnerable individuals who are at high risk of contracting COVID-19, but are so often forgotten.”
This grant is part of Kaiser Permanente Hawaii’s efforts to help residents and organizations throughout the state receive vital support services in response to financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, they have gifted over $960,000 in current or planned grants to nonprofits serving communities throughout the state, and hosted 16 community support events including food distributions that have provided over 275,000 pounds of food to more than 7,000 local families.
IHS, The Institute for Human Services, Inc. is Hawaii's most comprehensive human services agency focused exclusively on ending or preventing homelessness. IHS serves nearly 6000 individuals each year through a variety of services designed to address each individual or family’s unique homeless situation. IHS is a 501(c)(3) private non-profit organization. Find out more at ihshawaii.org.
For 75 years, Kaiser Permanente has been committed to shaping the future of health and health care — and helping our members, patients, and communities experience more healthy years. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Since July 21, 1945, Kaiser Permanente’s mission has been to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 12.4 million members in 8 states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists, and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery, and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education, and the support of community health.