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Frequently Asked Questions

I can’t make my mortgage or rent payment. What support is available to me?

There are several ways to get financial support for housing right now, and it’s important to know that the governor proclaimed a moratorium on evictions for failure to pay rents, leases, maintenance fees, utilities and taxes during the disaster emergency relief period – which currently continues through May 31, 2020. Aloha United Way offers support through a rent and utility assistance program, allowing each household to apply up to once a month – for a maximum of $1,000 – to be paid per household, per month for both rent and utilities. The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands has a new rental relief program in partnership with Aloha United Way in which eligible native Hawaiians on DHHL’s Applicant Waiting List who have experienced a loss of income or job as a result of COVID-19 may receive assistance for the payment of their security deposit and/or rent for up to six months. Government entities have enacted the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the fifth emergency supplementary proclamation, to provide support and protect those who may be unable to pay mortgage or rent due to the effects of COVID-19.

Aloha United Way 211 “AUW COVID-19 Rent and Utility Assistance Program”
Department of Hawaiian Home Lands “COVID-19 Relief Programs”
Senator Brian Schatz “Assistance for Certain Homeowners and Renters”
Office of the Governor “Governor Ige Orders Eviction Moratorium”

I can’t pay my utility bills this month. How can I keep my service?

Hawaiian Electric has suspended disconnections for non-payment through June 30, 2020, and will continue to provide the community with reliable electric service. Aloha United Way offers a rent and utility assistance program, aimed at helping those who may be at risk of losing their home or utility services. Each household may apply up to once a month for a maximum of $1000 to be paid per household, per month for both rent and utilities.

Aloha United Way 211 “AUW COVID-19 Rent and Utility Assistance Program”
Office of the Governor “Governor Ige Orders Eviction Moratorium”

I need a safe place to sleep tonight. What shelters will accept me?

The City and County of Honolulu has deployed the Homeless Outreach and Navigation for the Unsheltered (HONU) program, aimed at providing short-term shelter and triage services to those experiencing homelessness. The Provisional Outdoor Screening and Triage (POST) facility at Keʻehi Lagoon is serving as a resource for individuals needing temporary shelter and access to hygiene and other basic needs. The Hawaiʻi State Department of Human Services and Partners in Care provide up-to-date listings of open shelters and bed and unit availability. For those who test positive for COVID-19 or are awaiting results, a Temporary Quarantine Center (TQC) is available to care for up to 52 individuals at any given time.

Aloha United Way 211 “Homelessness>Transitional Housing/Shelter”
State of Hawaiʻi Homelessness Initiative “HONU”
Hawaiʻi State Department of Human Services “Homeless Services Agencies Directory”
Partners in Care “Vacancy Rates”
IHS Hawaiʻi “A Place to Heal for Those with COVID-19”

I need food assistance. How can I get help today?

The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) continues to serve residents throughout the pandemic, and now first-time applicants may apply for financial and SNAP benefits with a digital application. Many of Hawaiʻi’s nonprofits are providing food assistance programs, food and grocery delivery, meal pickup and subsidized groceries to community members. Aloha United Way’s 211 can help with your SNAP prescreening.

Aloha United Way 211
○      “Emergency Food>Food Stamps/SNAP Applications”
○      “Food for COVID-19”
○      “Grocery Ordering/Delivery for COVID-19”
○      “Home Delivered Meals for COVID-19”
○      “Keiki to Kupuna Foundation Meals on Wheels Program”
○      “Lanakila Pacific – Lanaika Meals on Wheels”
○      “Malama Meals” 
○      “School Lunches During COVID-19 at Kipapa Elementary School”
○      “St. Francis Healthcare System”
○      “Grab-And-Go Meals for Students During COVID-19 Statewide”
Hawaiʻi State Department of Human Services “Updates for Food and Financial Assistance Amid the COVID-19 Crisis”
Chef Hui “Food Distribution Sites and Other Resources”
Brian Schatz “Help Available for Hawaiʻi Seniors”
Human Services Hawaiʻi  “Updates for Food and Financial Assistance Amid the COVID-19 Crisis”
Hawaiʻi Food Pantries “Food Pantries, Subsidized Groceries”
Hawaiʻi State Office of Community Services “Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP)

I’m still waiting on my unemployment check. Is there a way to expedite it?

Applicants may expect to receive their first payment about a month after submission. To check the status of an unemployment application, the Hawaiʻi State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) has developed a web portal for use by those filing after February 29, 2020. The DLIR has upgraded its system and is training volunteers from partnering organizations to help quickly process the high number of claims filed due to the coronavirus pandemic. For more information about the claims filing process, call or email your local UI office. 
 
Aloha United Way 211 “Unemployment Insurance for COVID-19”
Hawaiʻi State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations
○      “Unemployment Benefits Claim Status”
○      “How to File, Certify and Obtain Unemployment Benefits”
○      “COVID-19 Eligibility FAQs”
○      “COVID-19 Post-Filing Information”

Can I get tested if I don’t have medical insurance?

All Hawaiʻi residents who have lost employer-provided health insurance in the past 60 days or may lose coverage in the next 60 days have options to obtain health care coverage. Individuals may qualify for subsidies to help reduce monthly premium cost and out-of-pocket expenses such as co-payments, co-insurance and deductibles through Med-QUEST. Medicaid coverage will not be terminated during the National Emergency period for those who were on Medicaid as of March 18, 2020 or who have become eligible since then. Once insured, all individuals with a physician referral are eligible for testing.

Aloha United Way 211 “Medical Information Services for COVID-19”
Health Care “Marketplace Coverage and Coronavirus”
State of Hawaiʻi “My Medical Benefits”
Hawaiʻi State Department of Health “Criteria for Evaluating and Testing Persons for COVID-19”

I am a caregiver and want to make sure I’m not carrying COVID-19. How can I get tested?

To be tested for COVID-19, individuals must receive a referral from a health care provider and those who may be displaying symptoms are encouraged to speak to their physician. Hawaiʻi UTelehealth offers a COVID-19 self screening service to help individuals determine their risk for COVID-19 and connect with a health care provider via a telehealth session to discuss whether testing should be undergone.

Aloha United Way 211 “Medical Information Services for COVID-19”
The Queen’s Health Systems “COVID-19 Update”
Hawaiʻi Pacific Health “COVID-19 Testing”
Hawaiʻi State Department of Health
○      “Criteria for Evaluating and Testing Persons for COVID-19”
○      “COVID-19 Self Screening Tool”

Is it safe for me or my family to go to a hospital or clinic right now for something unrelated to COVID-19?

Yes, and there are precautions you can take to increase your own safety and the safety of others. If your health issue is essential or time-sensitive, do not skip your appointment. If your health issue is not essential, please do your part to keep others with essential needs safe by asking your doctor if a telehealth appointment can solve your issue. If you are unable to get adequate care remotely, follow these guidelines before visiting your healthcare facility:
 
1) Call your doctor ahead of visiting. Ask if there are changes to policy or procedure you should know before you arrive.
2) Let the facility know you are coming in for a visit.
3) Put on a face mask before entering the facility and bring hand sanitizer or antibacterial wipes with you to your visit. 

Aloha United Way 211 “Medical Information Services for COVID-19”
Hawaiʻi State Department of Health
○      About “Telehealth”
○      “What to do if you have COVID-19 Symptoms”
The Queen’s Health System “Visitor Guidance”
Hawaiʻi Pacific Health “Patients and Visitors”
Kaiser Permanente “Our Approach to COVID-19”
Hilo Medical Center “No Visitor Policy”
Maui Memorial Medical Center “COVID-19 Visitor Information”
Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital “Visitor Restrictions”

How can I safely access mental health services right now?

The Hawaiʻi State Department of Health’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides a variety of treatment programs for different mental and behavioral health needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals and clinics throughout the state now offer telehealth services which may include support for mental health; check with your physician. The Hawaiʻi State Department of Education has a guide for parents and caregivers to help manage keiki stress based on age group. The “Hawaiʻi Keiki: Healthy and Ready to Learn Program” connects parents and caregivers with a registered nurse to assist with keiki physical and mental health needs through a new health hotline.
 
Aloha United Way’s 211 “Mental Health and Substance Abuse” database of service providers
Hawaiʻi State Department of Health “Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration”
About “Telehealth”
Hawaiʻi State Department of Education Parent Guide to Social and Mental Health Support & Wellness During School Closures
Hawaiʻi Keiki Health Hotline, a partnership between Hawaiʻi Department of Education and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene

What child care resources are available for essential workers’ families?

PATCH offers a live listing of DHS Licensed Centers and Registered Family Child Care providers throughout the state of Hawaiʻi. Kamaʻāina Kids has programs for infants to preschool and grades K-5, and the YMCA of Honolulu provides programs for grades K-5, with need-based financial assistance available. Distance learning tools for your keiki are available through the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education via email and school websites. The Department also has at-home learning choice boards, Hawaiian Studies Programs and additional online resources.
 
Aloha United Way 211 “Information Sources for Education Issues”
PATCH “Hawaiʻi Statewide Essential Childcare”
Kamaʻāina Kids “Essential Support Care Registration is Now Open”
YMCA of Honolulu “Essential Workers Child Care Program”
Hawaiʻi State Department of Education At-Home Learning Choice Boards
Hawaiʻi State Department of Education Hawaiian Studies Program
Hawaiʻi State Department of Education Additional Distance Learning Resources
Hawaiʻi State Department of Education Continuity of Education main page

What types of support are local banks offering to private citizens impacted by COVID-19?

Hawaiʻi’s local banks are offering several types of financial assistance during COVID-19, such as loans, deferrals on mortgage payments, credit card payments, no penalty for closing a CD early, and no ATM fees.

See the below links for some available options:

Bank of Hawai’i
First Hawaiian Bank
American Savings Bank
Central Pacific Bank
Territorial Savings Bank
Finance Factors, Ltd
Ohana Pacific Bank
Hawai’i National Bank

Please check back frequently to see new and updated resources.

For island-specific resources

Get matched up to the resources you need

Aloha United Way

Aloha United Way is Hawai’i’s only comprehensive, statewide community information and referral service. Free and confidential. 211 specialists help you find food, shelter, financial assistance, child care, parenting support, elderly care, disability services, job training and much more.

To be matched up to resources with a specialist, go to Aloha United way at http://www.auw211.org/. Connect with an Information and Referral Specialist by phone by calling 211, text, chat, or email, 7:00 am to 10pm, 7 days a week, or search the database online 24/7.