Episcopal Relief & Development supports Episcopal Diocese of Hawaiʻi after wildfires

Episcopal Relief & Development
Posted Sep 11, 2023

Episcopal Relief & Development is partnering with the Episcopal Diocese of Hawaiʻi to provide cash assistance, housing and relocation support after brush fires on Maui devastated the island on August 8, 2023.

The deadly fires that swept through Lahaina and Kula claimed over one hundred lives with hundreds still missing. The majority of homes and community gathering places have been destroyed and thousands of people have been displaced. Affected communities have lost homes, jobs, transportation, family and friends. Many of the survivors also suffered injuries while escaping.

In partnership with Episcopal Relief & Development and the Diocese of Hawaiʻi, A Cup of Cold Water is expanding its efforts to support both chronically and newly unhoused people on Maui. Together, the organizations are working to provide cash assistance for necessities including food, power, hygiene supplies, medical supplies, and home goods. They are also continuing to provide temporary housing and meet transportation and relocation needs for survivors.

In the immediate aftermath of the fires, through collaboration with local organizations including A Cup of Cold Water, the Diocese has fed displaced people, provided medical and pastoral care and given support as people fill out forms for assistance. A Cup of Cold Water, a ministry formed by several Episcopal churches on Maui, serves unhoused people and other people affected by poverty. The ministry regularly provides food, clothing and hygiene products throughout the island.

Since the early phases of the disaster, Episcopal Relief & Development has provided technical support and guidance to the diocese. This includes needs assessment support, and helping the diocese to set up community-engaged, asset-based short and long term recovery projects.

“Episcopal Relief & Development has been a companion to the diocese and affected communities since the beginning of this disaster,” said Tamara Plummer, Program Officer, Epicsopal Relief & Development. “We will remain a resource and active participant as they transition to meeting longer term needs for housing, employment and counseling.”

During this time of crisis, please stay up to date with local advice regarding travel, volunteer opportunities and community requests. Please pray for the people impacted by the fires. Donations to the Hawaiʻi Emergency Response Fund will support Episcopal Relief & Development and its partners as they respond.