Across Hawai‘i, an estimated 30 percent of people released from the prison system exit to homelessness. This data is particularly relevant given the population reduction in Hawai‘i’s correctional facilities that occurred throughout the pandemic. One partnership between two Maui nonprofits—Maui Economic Opportunity and Ka Hale A Ke Ola—went above and beyond in the last year to connect justice-involved community members to housing.
Maui Economic Opportunity, a recipient of a $75,000 COVID-19 emergency grant, was able to connect 78 returning citizens to housing; provide them with support accessing employment, including helping them enroll in workforce development programs; and reinstate driver’s licenses. A partnership with Ka Hale A Ke Ola, a recipient of a $50,000 COVID-19 emergency grant, created long-term housing opportunities for 24 returning citizens through Ka Hale A Ke Ola’s affordable rental housing and other programs.