April 23, 2020 - For Immediate Release
Family Promise of Hawai’i partners with OLS Hotels & Resorts to shelter families experiencing homelessness during the pandemic.
On Wednesday, April 22, Family Promise of Hawai’i (FPH) began moving families experiencing homelessness into hotels to give children and families a private place to shelter during the current pandemic.
While the community is being asked to stay at home, not everyone has a place to call home. Shelters have typically been the safety net for those facing homelessness, but most shelters on O’ahu have suspended intake of new clients so they can comply with CDC social distancing guidelines.
To create new shelter space, FPH has partnered with OLS Hotels & Resorts to shelter 32 children and parents. The partnership is funded by Hawaiʻi Community Foundation’s Hawaiʻi Resilience Fund.
While the term homelessness is often associated with single adults, nearly 40% of the state’s homeless population are children and families. These families have fallen into crisis because the cost of living is higher than the wages they earn. Children and families without safe and secure homes are at increased risk of serious health issues.
“During this challenging time, it’s essential that we all come together to care for one another” says Family Promise of Hawai’i Executive Director Sam Church. “We have to innovate to protect the most vulnerable members of our community.”
The partnership comes amid the city’s decision to continue homeless sweeps during the pandemic. “We felt an urgency to provide a safe, hospitable shelter option,'' Church continued. “To keep families healthy, secure, and connected to long-term support.”