The grants will support organizations on Oahu and Hawaii Island to help improve access to health care and services.
HONOLULU — Kaiser Permanente in Hawaii has donated $145,000 to 2 organizations focused on providing health care services to homeless individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Hawaii Homeless Healthcare Hui on Oahu will receive a $50,000 grant award, and HOPE Services Hawaii will receive a $95,000 grant award.
Hawaii Homeless Healthcare Hui, also known as H4, is a public-private partnership that operates the Punawai Clinic in Iwilei, where Oahu’s homeless population is most concentrated. Here, individuals can receive 4 levels of service: basic hygiene, which includes access to showers and laundry services; 24/7 urgent care, including mental health and drug treatment; medical respite for individuals requiring extensive monitoring for a period of days or weeks; and transitional housing for patients managing chronic conditions, with the goal of arranging permanent housing through social service agencies. H4 also operates a satellite clinic to serve homeless individuals in Windward Oahu. Grant funding will support H4’s medical respite service for homeless patients, which aims to improve health care access and reduce costly emergency room visits by providing a safe and clean environment where patients can recover from an acute illness or injury.
HOPE Services Hawaii, Hawaii Island’s largest homeless services provider, helps families and individuals who are at risk of displacement or are experiencing homelessness. HOPE provides financial management resources; outreach programs to connect people experiencing homelessness with health, housing, and social services; and disaster relief assistance, including short-term emergency shelters. The organization is also working to decrease the likelihood of transmission and community spread of COVID-19 among homeless individuals and medically-vulnerable populations. Grant funding will go toward HOPE’s Street Medicine and Mobile Outreach program which provides health and social services developed specifically to address the unique needs and circumstances of individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness by delivering care directly to them in their own environment.
“Public, private, and nonprofit organizations must come together to address the critical issue of homelessness in Hawaii, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said John Yang, MD, president and medical director, Hawaii Permanente Medical Group. “We must work to ensure our most vulnerable populations do not fall through the cracks. When individuals have access to the health care and mental health services they need, they have more opportunities to thrive.”
These grants are the latest in a series of contributions from Kaiser Permanente in Hawaii to help residents throughout the state receive vital support services in response to the socioeconomic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the last 12 months, the health care organization has granted over $2 million in current or planned funds to nonprofits serving communities across Hawaii, and has hosted 16 community support events including food distributions that have provided over 280,000 pounds of food to more than 7,000 local families.
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.