STATE OF HAWAI‘I DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES LAUNCHES INTERIM DISASTER CASE MANAGEMENT PROGRAMPosted on Nov 20, 2023 in Featured, Main, NEWS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 20, 2023
STATE OF HAWAI‘I DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES LAUNCHES INTERIM DISASTER CASE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
New program will help provide access to specialized support and resources to support recovery of Maui wildfire survivors, to be expanded with FEMA support
HONOLULU – Governor Josh Green, M.D., and the State of Hawai‘i Department of Human Services (DHS) today announced the launch of an interim Disaster Case Management Program (DCMP) for survivors of the Maui wildfires.
Disaster case management is typically a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funded program that connects survivors of disasters with specially trained case managers to help assess and address their needs through a disaster recovery plan, which includes resources, decision-making priorities, providing guidance, and tools. The state of Hawai‘i’s application for this program has been granted initial FEMA approval with additional details to come.
In order to meet the immediate needs of survivors and provide the benefits of the DCMP as quickly as possible, Governor Green sought funding from the American Red Cross to launch the program on an interim basis. This interim DCMP is funded by the American Red Cross for 90 days and will provide 20 dedicated case managers who will be able to help support up to 700 individuals. Once finalized, the FEMA-supported DCMP will expand to provide support to all survivors for up to two years.
DHS is working with a nonprofit organization, The Society of St. Vincent DePaul, to bring together three local community-based organizations, the Catholic Charities Hawai‘i, Family Life Center, and Family Promise of Hawai‘i, to train the specialized case managers. This program will build on Governor Green’s ongoing efforts in the community to ensure survivors are able to access the support they need, including housing and resident transition support through the non-congregate sheltering (NCS) program. This interim DCMP will also focus on expanding these critical services to individuals who need them and are not currently receiving support through the NCS program.
Survivors who will receive services in this interim DCMP will be contacted directly by either their currently assigned American Red Cross Shelter Resident Transition Specialist, or for those eligible who reside outside of the NCS hotels, by a disaster case manager to begin assessing needs and providing disaster recovery services. Disaster case managers will also be able to assist survivors who speak English as a second language.
“My top priority as governor continues to be ensuring that the survivors of the Maui wildfires are getting the support they need,” said Governor Green. “This interim Disaster Case Management program will enable us to better help survivors as they navigate their path toward recovery and will streamline the many resources available. These services will focus on providing support to those in NCS accommodations and who have been determined ineligible for FEMA benefits. Thank you to the Red Cross for its assistance in kickstarting this program and for its continued efforts in helping our community.”
“The survivors in our care remain our number-one priority,” said Red Cross Director of Wildfire Long Term Recovery Programs Amanda Ree. “The Red Cross is proud to be funding this initial phase of disaster case management, as it adds one more tool to a survivor’s toolbox. This investment helps speed up the recovery process for all survivors and is in line with our intention to empower local entities to lead the recovery of their own community. Our volunteers, disaster workforce and long-term recovery team will continue to support everyone in our care while building the capacity of local partners in these communities.”
“Catholic Charities Hawai‘i (CCH) is honored to be selected as part of DHS’ Disaster Case Management team in providing much-needed services to those severely impacted by the recent Maui wildfires,” said CCH President and CEO Rob Van Tassell. “As our CCH staff and other organizations continue to rally around our Maui brothers and sisters, this expedited grant program by the state shows the urgency and commitment in assisting those most in need in the coming days and months ahead.”
“Family Life Center is excited to be a part of this program, and proud to hire Maui wildfire survivors to provide these disaster case management services,” said Family Life Center CEO Dr. Ashley Kelly. “We believe this is key for survivors still in need, to navigate available resources with someone who has shared experience, rapport and trust.”
“It is our kuleana to support families’ journey to recovery — to help them navigate the road ahead and get connected to stable housing, financial assistance, and any other forms of support they may need,” said Ryan Catalani, Executive Director of Family Promise of Hawaiʻi. “Mahalo to the state and our partners in this program for coming together to provide this invaluable service for families impacted by the Maui wildfires.”
“The survivors of the Maui wildfires continue to need our help, and the Department of Human Services is proud to provide this essential Disaster Case Management service. Working together, we will be able to provide survivors with the critical support they need to recover, rebuild, and heal,” said DHS Deputy Director Trista Speer. “We are grateful to Governor Green for his leadership in prioritizing this assistance and moving quickly to launch the program, and we look forward to working with our partners to continue providing the resources our community needs.”
DHS Maui Recovery Program and Media Contact: