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Kīlauea Recovery Grant Program Recipients Announced

September 17, 2020, 10:54 AM HST
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Lava fountains erupting from fissure 22 (center) with heavy degassing (upper right) during Kīlauea’s lower East Rift Zone eruption in 2018. USGS photo was taken on May 20, 2018, by L. DeSmither.

A total of $3.7 million in grants to assist with recovery in lower Puna following 2018’s volcanic eruption will soon be on its way to recipients.

Hawai‘i County’s Kīlauea disaster recovery team announced on Wednesday the selection of several community nonprofit organizations as recipients of 18 grants that will support restoration and repairs of private roads; assist inundated or damaged farms with recovering; build affordable homes for displaced residents; support natural and cultural resources preservation; assist a public charter school destroyed by the eruption; and other initiatives.

“The Kīlauea Recovery Grant Program was developed with community empowerment in mind,” said Puna Councilwoman Ashley Kierkiewicz. “From projects that help people get back to homes and farms, to expanding successful programs or spurring innovative solutions, this important tool advances community-driven initiatives that support Puna’s ongoing recovery and revitalization.”

The County Council authorized the Kīlauea Recovery Grant Program to allow recovery funding to be provided to private organizations through 501(c)3 nonprofits. Grants larger than $25,000 will be submitted to the County Council for approval via resolution.

On Tuesday, the County issued a request for proposals (RFP) for a separate grantmaking and capacity-building initiative known as the Community-Based Disaster Management Grant Program. The RFP addresses the design, management, and implementation of the program to continue providing grants to support community recovery from the 2018 Kīlauea eruption.

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“The Community-Based Disaster Management Grant Program was developed to implement the concept of Puna Strong by providing capacity building and grant resources to residents and help support community initiatives,” said Douglas Le, the County’s recovery officer. “We look forward to partnering with the community on these grant programs and implementing other recovery strategies to increase resilience.”

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Kīlauea Recovery Grant Program awards were selected for the following organizations:

• Big Island Resource Conservation and Development Council – $500,000 to support infrastructure development for displaced orchid growers.

• Habitat for Humanity – $500,000 to build five affordable homes for families who lost their homes during the eruption.

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• Hooulu-Lahui – $500,000 to assist Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School with bringing its leased property into code compliance.

• Malama O Puna – $375,000 for road repairs in Leilani Estates.

• Food Security Hawaii – $350,000 to assist farm damaged by the eruption.

• Fellowship for Perpetual Growth – $280,000 to assist farming cooperative damaged by the eruption.

• Grassroots Church – $275,000 to support job creation, sustainable agriculture, and community engagement for the Kuleana Project in Pahoa.

• Hawaii Rise Foundation – $250,000 for Kapoho Vacationland project planning.

• Pahoa Lava Museum – $175,124 to restore road access to 16 properties isolated by lava in Malama Homesteads.

• O Maku‘u Ke Kahua Community Center – $154,000 to assist Hawaiian families’ move from subsistence to commercial farming, strengthen farmer’s market, and address safety and security issues.

• Ono Seeds – $120,000 to assist a farm damaged by the eruption.

• Kapono Red Road – $104,500 to support historical preservation, stewardship, and land conservation.

• Self Discovery through Art – $40,750 to support a recovery, resilience, re-creation facilitator training program.

• Yeshua Outreach Center – $25,000 to build capacity as a viable Red Cross shelter.

• Pahoa Lava Museum – $23,584 to open Puamana Road.

• Pahoa Lava Museum – $22,000 to restore road access to Kapoho Crater.

• Polestar Gardens – $7,500 to restore greenhouse, water, and irrigation systems for a farm.

• Church of the Holy Apostles – $5,000 for repairs of water lines damaged by earthquakes.

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