Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced today the release of two grants totaling $100,000 to Hilo-based nonprofit Hawaii County Economic Opportunity Council for its Naalehu and Honokaa offices.
Abercrombie approved the allotment of funds in the amount of $50,000 each for the Naalehu and Honokaa offices for planning, design and construction for emergency repairs and access improvements, as identified by members of the state Legislature.
“This money will be used to improve accessibility for our kupuna and the disabled, particularly those living in remote communities,” Abercrombie said in a written statement. “These funds represent an investment in community and nonprofit efforts that will have significant impacts in the lives of local individuals and families they serve.”
Repair of HCEOC satellite offices will facilitate outreach and services (transportation, energy and education programs) to disadvantaged residents dispersed in rural communities on Hawaii Island. A popular program is the federally funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which subsidizes electricity or gas bills of qualified disadvantaged households. Each June, HCEOC provides outreach for the energy assistance program administered by the state Department of Human Services and local utility companies.