Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Centers, Inc. Receives $5 Million Bezos Day 1 Families Fund Grant to Help End Homelessness for Families in Maui County

Fund grants $123.45 million to 40 nonprofits across the U.S. to move the needle on re-housing and supporting families experiencing homelessness

WAILUKU, Hawaii – (November 22, 2022): Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Centers, Inc., Maui’s largest homeless shelter provider, today announced that it has received a $5 million dollar grant from the Bezos Day 1 Families Fund—the largest private gift in the organization’s history. Launched in 2018 by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the Day 1 Families Fund issues annual leadership awards to leading organizations on the frontlines that are employing compassionate, needle-moving work to help families move from unsheltered homelessness and shelters to permanent housing with the services they require to achieve stability.

“What an amazingly positive and impactful gift to our beloved community,” said Monique Ibarra, executive director at Ka Hale A Ke Ola. “This generous grant will enable our agency to extend resources to a larger part of the community and sets our course on a faster pace of ending homelessness on Maui.”

This one-time grant will help Ka Hale A Ke Ola in its tireless work to support families as they reel from skyrocketing rent costs, limited services and insufficient incomes. Ka Hale A Ke Ola plans to use the grant funds to create temporary housing though master leasing of homes and form a volunteer outreach group. The funds will also be used to provide trauma services to children and families in shelter, replace furniture in the organization’s two shelters and build a technology hub in the shelter with computers to help shelter participants search for housing and employment. Ka Hale A Ke Ola’s other plans for the grant include creating additional permanent affordable rental housing, starting a culinary arts training program, increasing resource awareness county-wide for families at risk of homelessness, increasing training for staff, and providing school-aged children who are unsheltered with necessities.

Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Centers, Inc. was selected as a Day 1 Families Fund grant recipient by a group of national advisors who are leading advocates and experts on homelessness and service provision. National advisors brought expertise on housing justice, advancing racial equity and helping programs employ resources effectively to assist families out of homelessness.

Over the past five years, the Day 1 Families Fund has provided 170 grants totaling more than $520 million to organizations around the country working to combat homelessness and help families gain housing support and stability. This year, the Fund issued a total of $123.45 million in grants to the following organizations: Carpenter’s Shelter; CATCH, Inc.; Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona; The Center for Women and Families; Changing Homelessness; Chapman Partnership; Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County; Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County, Inc.; Community Services & Employment Training (CSET); Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO); Family Promise of Hawai’i; Family Promise of Northern New Castle County; Family Services of Tulare County; Flagstaff Shelter Services; Gateway180; Heartland Alliance; H.O.M.E. Inc.; Homeless Alliance; Hope House of Milwaukee; Housing First, Inc.; Housing Forward; HRDC; Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Centers, Inc.; LA Family Housing; Mother Nation; Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter, Inc.; New Reach; Oglala Sioux Tribe; Partners for HOME; PATH; The Salvation Army, Denver Metro Area; Samish Indian Nation; San Diego Regional Task Force on Homelessness; Sojourner Truth House; Solo Por Hoy, Inc.; Start Corporation; Strategies to End Homelessness; The Wellspring; YWCA Cass Clay; and YWCA Missoula’s Housing Programs.

“We’re deeply grateful for this wonderful gift. It’s a tribute to the outstanding work of everyone at Ka Hale A Ke Ola,” said Lynn Rassmussen, chair of Ke Hale A Ke Ola’s Board of Directors.

The Bezos Day One Fund made a $2 billion commitment to focus on making meaningful and lasting impacts in two areas: funding existing nonprofits that help families experiencing homelessness, and creating a network of new, nonprofit tier-one preschools in low-income communities. The Day 1 Families Fund issues annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families. The vision statement comes from the inspiring Mary’s Place in Seattle: no child sleeps outside. For more information, visit www.BezosDayOneFund.org/Day1FamiliesFund.

About Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Centers, Inc.

Ka Hale A Ke Ola (KHAKO) is dedicated to serving the needs of the homeless and hungry on Maui by providing emergency food and housing, voicing their concerns, and empowering them to take responsibility for their own lives and to call on the community to assist in these actions. Ka Hale A Ke Ola began sheltering the homeless on November 26, 1986 in an old church building in Pu‘unēnē. Within the 30-plus years of services, two homeless shelters with over 100 units for families and single adults, and two affordable rental unit facilities (230 units) were built. On any given night, about 1,300 people in the Maui community have a roof over their heads and are not homeless due to KHAKO. Plans to expand affordable rental units are in the works. KHAKO impacts the Maui community across many platforms, including sheltering 863 residents in two facilities, serving 46,876 meals and helping 294 individuals to become permanently housed in 2021. KHAKO works tirelessly to help lift up individuals and families so to overcome economic challenges that can lead to homelessness. Learn more at www.khako.org.


Monique R. Ibarra, Executive Director
(808) 446-8133