Posted on Mar 14, 2024 in Featured, Main, NEWS

For Immediate Release
March 14, 2024


Program will help provide access to specialized support and resources to support recovery of Maui wildfire survivors, builds on interim support

Survivors interested in DCMP support should call 211 to access the waitlist

HONOLULU – Governor Josh Green, M.D., and the state of Hawai‘i Department of Human Services (DHS) today announced the launch of the Disaster Case Management Program (DCMP) for survivors of the Maui wildfires.

“The launch of the 211 system and Disaster Case Management Program is a testament to the hard work done by our DHS team, the partner community-based organizations, FEMA, and everyone involved— and we are so proud to be able to provide this crucial service to our community. Thank you all,” said DHS Director Cathy Betts. “We are ramping up this program as quickly as we can and look forward to helping support survivors as they navigate the recovery process.”

Supported by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), disaster case management is a program that connects survivors of disasters with specially trained disaster case managers (DCMs) to help assess and address their needs through a disaster recovery plan, which includes resources, decision-making priorities, providing guidance, and tools. A DCM will serve as a survivor’s “quarterback” for the next two to five years, assisting the survivor to develop a unique and comprehensive recovery plan, and then assisting the survivor in connecting with the referrals and resources to meet those needs.

The program will offer services to all survivors who are impacted by the Maui wildfires, regardless of their FEMA eligibility or application status. In total, the $17.2M FEMA grant will fund a comprehensive program that will include total of 36 DCMs across four community-based organizations to provide disaster recovery services to a maximum of 1,260 households. The DCMP builds on an interim program funded by the American Red Cross, which began in November and was in direct response to the immediate needs of survivors.

DHS is rapidly scaling the DCMP and has instituted a waitlist triage and care navigation system to connect with survivors, determine eligibility for the program, and onboard them as quickly as possible. A survivor should contact 211 to begin the process and request follow up from a DCMP team member to conduct an intake discussion. Next, a triage intake specialist will reach out to the survivor to determine eligibility and add them to the DCMP waitlist. A triage outreach and care navigation specialist will then serve as a guide to the survivor, answering questions, navigating resources, and providing updates, during the time the survivors are on the waitlist.

Four teachers from Lahaina shared that the wildfires that devastated their community presented them with a very challenging time. Their homes were destroyed, leaving them without a place to stay. They credited Family Life Center, supported by Global Empowerment Mission (GEM) Hawaiʻi for stepping in with kindness and generosity to provide safe places to live. That stability enabled the educators to focus on their work and their recovery. The teachers say the assistance helped them overcome difficulties and continue their journeys as educators, and expressed gratitude for the support that lifted them up.

A survivor and participant in the DCMP said: “The Disaster Case Management Program and the support from Catholic Charities made a difference in my path as a survivor, because there was no clarity about my decisions.”

“Each day, our team helps families take concrete steps toward their long-term recovery,” said Ryan Catalani, Executive Director of Family Promise of Hawaiʻi. “In recent days, we have helped families find long-term housing, provided baby supplies, and advocated for families’ needs with FEMA and other partners. Each win, no matter how big or small, means everything to the families we’re serving, and we’re grateful to be part of their journey.”

“For over 30 years, AUW 211 has been in our community, answering the call for Hawai‘i families in the wake of disasters like the Maui Wildfires. We proudly support the Disaster Case Management program, standing by survivors through their long-term road to recovery. Rest assured, our local, trauma-informed, and culturally sensitive specialists are working diligently to bring relief to the most vulnerable,” said Jennifer Pecher, vice president of 211 Community Response Programs at Aloha United Way. “This is a marathon, and we are committed to supporting recovery efforts as long as it takes.”


DHS Public Information Officer
Amanda Stevens
[email protected]