"Let's Give Displaced Families Something They Can Count On"
News Release from Rep Andria Tupola July 30, 2018
HONOLULU, HAWAIʻI – After her fifth trip to Puna, Representative Andria Tupola knows now is the time to help displaced residents plan and restore hope. August 3rd marks three months since the eruption began.
"The duration and flow of the lava is out of our control. But we can help our Big Island neighbors find stable housing. Let's give them something they can count on," Representative Tupola said.
World Central Kitchen has been providing around 900 hot meals a day to residents and will be closing on July 31. The Salvation Army will continue to provide meals, and churches will assist with some meal services. The date of July 31 had also been a tentative end date for other services. However, at a meeting this week with faith community leaders, the American Red Cross and others once again extended the deadline.
Instability has been a theme in the volcano emergency. About 160 people are staying at two Red Cross shelters, a number that constantly fluctuates. About half of the people at shelters are living outside in tents. It is hard to estimate how many additional affected residents are staying with relatives and friends – creating a challenging situation for all involved.
"The impending urgency is now with services and housing," said Representative Tupola.
She added, "Hawaii County resources are depleting as the island is doing its best to answer crisis after crisis. From displaced residents to the heartbreaking death of a police officer that resulted in a manhunt, it's time to give more State aid to the Big Island."
Related: HRS 171-93: Law Allows Swap of Lava-Covered Lots for State Property in Zone 3