Rural communities have been leaders and visionaries in how best to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in a way that builds on community resilience. The Foundation’s recent $1.75 million commitment to three Hawaiʻi Island initiatives addressing Housing, Health, Jobs, and Education highlights collaborative efforts that strengthen this resilience within rural communities. With the addition of these new grantees, 40 percent of the Foundation’s active Hawaiʻi grants currently support efforts on Hawaiʻi Island.

The Foundation’s $600,000 grant to HOPE Services Hawaiʻi will support the development of The Pahoa Affordable Housing Project—a community housing project that will provide supportive services for kūpuna (older adults). This project is a priority of Community Alliance Partners’ strategic plan to end homelessness that builds on the strengths of nonprofit developers, local businesses, the faith community, and social service nonprofits.  

In addition, a $650,000 grant to Paʻa Pono Miloliʻi will support the completion of The Miloliʻi Community Center, which will serve as a “rural resilience hub” in south Hawaiʻi Island, in partnership with a K-12 charter school, Hawaiʻi Marine Education Research Center, and Arizona State University. This center will also provide access to education, job training, food distribution, and other community services.

The Foundation’s $500,000 grant to Hui Mālama i ke Ala ʻŪlili will support HuiMAU’s capacity to expand current programming while pursuing a social enterprise partnership with Kamehameha Schools and the Hawaiʻi Ulu Cooperative with the goal of increasing community food security.