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Hirono, Schatz announces funds for non-profits, veterans


Sens. Mazie K. Hirono and Brian Schatz announced U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) grants totaling $3,110,862 to seven Hawaii organizations to support programs that promote asset building, financial literacy and child care for indigenous communities.

“This funding allows non-profit organizations to provide needed services to indigenous families,” said Hirono, who shared today’s announcement with conferees at the 13th Annual Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement Convention in Honolulu. “Quality child care, improving financial literacy and building financial assets work hand-in-hand to strengthen the economic security and self-sufficiency of our families.”

“Quality child care and early education are two crucial needs for many of Hawaii’s families,” Schatz said. “For Native Hawaiian communities coping with financial and educational disparities, meeting these needs can be even more difficult. These funds will help us overcome these challenges by giving parents the peace of mind they need while at work, and providing our young children with a better shot at success.”

The grants are a part of HHS’s Social and Economic Development Strategies (SEDS), Assets for Independence, Child Care and Development Block Grant, and Community Services Block Grant programs.

The SEDS program was created to promote economic and social self-sufficiency for indigenous communities across the U.S. and Pacific Islands, and provides funding for projects that promote indigenous cultures, local economies and community well-being.

The Assets for Independence program helps low-income Americans develop economic self-sufficiency.

The Child Care and Development Block Grant provides assistance for child care services within states and indigenous communities.

The Community Services Block Grant helps low-income communities meet a variety of community needs.



Sens. Mazie K. Hirono and Brian Schatz announced $3 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to help end veteran homelessness in Hawaii.

“Safe, affordable housing is a basic necessity. Finding and keeping a job, supporting a family, and living a secure life without a place to call home is a major challenge for too many of our Hawaii veterans. We must do better for our veterans in need,” said Hirono, member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “The grants announced today will support ongoing efforts to provide much-needed services to at-risk veterans and their families.”

“No veteran should ever go without care or without a place to sleep at night,” Schatz said. “These funds from the VA will make sure veterans who have fallen on hard times have access to job training and temporary financial assistance for rent and utility expenses to help them get back on their feet. Our veterans and their families have made great sacrifices for our nation, and we must continue to make sure every veteran has a safe place to call home.”

“The Department of Veterans Affairs is committed to using evidence based approaches such as SSVF to prevent homelessness and produce successful outcomes for Veterans and their families,” said Secretary of Veteran Affairs Robert A. McDonald. “This is a program that works, because it allows VA staff and local homeless service providers to work together to address the unique challenges that make it difficult for some Veterans and their families to remain stably housed.”

The grants will provide the United States Veterans Initiative in Honolulu and Catholic Charities Hawaii with $1.5 million each as a part of the VA’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program.

The SSVF program administers funding to programs across the U.S. that provide low-income veterans and their families with assistance in obtaining VA benefits, counseling, and temporary financial assistance.

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