Short Term Emergency Shelters
Red Cross Shelters
- Keaau Armory Shelter, 16-512 Volcano Road, Keaau, HI 96749 This shelter is composed of one large room, dining room, and external space for camping. There is one bathroom and shower for men and one for women. The Red Cross is also providing medical care.
- Pahoa Gym Shelter, 15-3022 Kauhale Road, Pahoa, HI 96778 This large shelter is composed of a large internal gym with cots. Some tents have also been erected internally. There is a dining area and bathrooms. Showers are located at the adjacent swimming pool. A large group of evacuees have pitched tents outside as well.
Medium Term “Transitional” Sheltering
The County of Hawaii is asking churches in the Pahoa area to provide land to build temporary shelters for families. According to press, five churches have offered land. The first housing project began at the Sacred Heart Church in Pahoa on 9 June.
- Sacred Heart Church Shelter 15-3003 Pahoa Village Road, Pahoa, HI
- Hope Services is administering twenty ”tiny” (120 square feet) homes to serve as temporary shelters. New Hope has said it would give priority to seniors over 60 and families with children seven or below.
Airbnb has organized a program to help evacuees and relief workers in Puna to use contributed homes and rooms from May until 15 June for free. About 18 contributors have offered their homes though there are few openings left. There is a possibility that the program will be extended.
Longer Term Housing
The first step to obtaining more permanent housing is to register with the County and to establish a case file. You can get registered at the Recovery Information and Assistance Center located at the Pahoa Community Center (15-3022 Kauhale Road, Pahoa, HI. 96778.)
- You should also be talking to your insurance company to see what your policy covered in your house.
- Hope Services also has a program to help you cover immediate rent and utility expenses if you are unable to due to your circumstances. (808 935-3050)
Commercial Home Sales & Rental Sites
Commercial home sales/ rental sites are also good places to start your search for rental property. On 11 June 2018, the popular home site Zillow listed 24 houses for monthly rentals ($2000.00 or less per month) in the Puna/ Hilo area with an additional 38 houses in the same area up for foreclosure proceedings.
- Zillow: A commercial home purchase/rental website which will connect you to an appropriate realtor.
- Realtor.com: Another popular commercial home purchase/rental website.
Evacuees regretfully should be aware that scam artists are using local web sales sites to steal deposits and advanced rent payments from folks desperate to find a home. To avoid problems deal with a reputable real estate company or rental company like VRBO and Airbnb.
Hawaii Mayor Harry Kim has stated that he is in favor of eventually building a county housing development to house all the Puna evacuees, but this is years in the future…
- A local realty board, Hawaii Island Realtors, is also seeking a more immediate solution for South Puna residents who have lost their homes, according to West Hawaii press. The executive officer Ms. Costa is talking to the County to see if getting people into foreclosed houses would be a possibility.
- For longer term housing needs, a realtor that you know may be the best option. Additionally East Hawaii realtors have helpfully assembled a website to collect and offer rentals to evacuees at: kokua.alohaliving.com
Banking, Insurance and Grants
Over the longer term, you should have discussions with your bank and lender to see if you can reduce or delay your mortgage payments. Your discussions with your home insurance company may allow you to relocate or rebuild. Disaster loans and grants from the Federal and State governments are covered on the Financial Assistance page.