Hawaii's tourism industry raises $1m for the homeless

Published: Oct. 1, 2015 at 2:19 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - More than $1 million dollars has been raised by the Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association, along with its partners in the industry, to help the homeless across the state. President and CEO Mufi Hannemann said this is an expansion of the program they started last year, that not only helped get services for the homeless in Waikiki, it also incorporated a repatriation program. That paid for a portion of the airfare of some homeless people who wanted to go back to the mainland and had a support network there. This year, the HLTA expanded the repatriation services to Maui, a place that has seen the highest percentage of growth in the homeless population in the last year. Hannemann signed the check for $25,000 that was made out to the Maui Family Life Center. This will partially pay for the airfare of 80 homeless individuals on the Valley Isle.

Also, the HLTA wrote a check for $100,000 for the Institute for Human Services to continue its Waikiki Outreach Program. It was started in November of 2014 to help the homeless in Waikiki, and Hannemann said it has made a big difference in their lives. This is also a repatriation program that has helped 115 people relocate to the mainland so far.

The director of community relations for IHS, Kimo Carvalho said this type of community support has been very important in getting hundreds of people off the streets.

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