Hawaii non-profit organizations prepare for more calls as pandemic aid comes to an end soon


HONOLULU (KHON2) — Safety net programs to help Americans during the pandemic are coming to an end, federal unemployment programs are set to expire in September, while Hawaii’s eviction moratorium will end next month, some non-profit organizations are preparing for more calls for aid.

The YWCA and its “Dress for Success” program has helped women find their confidence and professional attire for almost 20 years.

The YWCA’s Economic Advancement Director Stephanie Hamano said their services are completely free, and women leave with much more than just professional clothing.

“They never even been able to envision what they would look like wearing a suit, never felt like they had any reason to,” Hamano said. “And it’s sort of like helping them to envision where they might be in their future or what they want to be in their future.”

The “Dress for Success” program also helps women with mock interviews, as well as finding jobs in the digital age.

Hamano said, “They need to understand how to upload their resumes and job applications online, I mean there’s a whole bunch of skill sets that change very quickly.”

Aloha United Way Community Impact Vice President Lisa Kimura said they are also staffing up to prepare for more calls into its 2-1-1 helpline.

Kimura said, “These days we’re getting as many calls in a single day as we used to get in a week.”

Aloha United Way works with many partners in the community to provide local families with food, shelter and clothing assistance.

It is now preparing to help many with housing issues as Hawaii lifts its eviction moratorium Aug. 6.

“Especially for people who find themselves in a situation they’ve never been in before,” Kimura said. “Its very reassuring to know that its confidential, that nobody is going to make you feel bad, our true desire is just to help you get what you need .”

Federal unemployment benefits are set to expire Sept. 6.

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