Office of the Governor – News Release – Majority Of Families Sheltering In Maui Hotels Have Established Full Eligibility To Stay

Posted on Sep 30, 2023 in Latest Department News, Newsroom, Office of the Governor Press Releases







Red Cross is Working to Assist Those Who Still Need Help


September 29, 2023

HONOLULU – More than 2,200 of the families displaced by the Maui wildfires who are receiving shelter in hotels and similar lodging have completed the required eligibility process and are approved to continue in those shelters until longer-term housing is ready for them.

In addition, the state, in partnership with Project Vision Hawai‘i has made shelter arrangements for people who did not have housing before the fires.

Together, those groups represent more than 80% of the population currently being housed in lodging under the non-congregate shelter (NCS) program operated by the American Red Cross.

Now the Red Cross is working with the remaining families and households in the NCS program to help them establish eligibility. As of noon Friday, about 800 households still in the program needed to contact Red Cross to resolve one or more questions. For fewer than 600 of those households, the only remaining eligibility issue was registration with FEMA. For those who are non-citizens, Red Cross workers in the hotel lobbies are standing by to assist.

To remain in NCS, they must establish eligibility by the end of the day Friday, Sept. 29. They can contact the Red Cross in person at the lobbies of hotels in the program or by phone at 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-3767).

“Our goal is to offer a safety net that meets the needs of every household that was impacted by this disaster,” said Governor Josh Green, M.D. “For many of these families, the Red Cross needs just a single piece of information to make sure that safety net stays in place.”

The benefit is available to everyone who had a primary residence in the fire-affected areas of Maui, that was destroyed or made uninhabitable. The program is available regardless of citizenship or immigration status, and the Red Cross does not share data with the government about those topics.

The American Red Cross has been providing the non-congregate sheltering program to nearly 3,200 households that were displaced from their homes by the fires – about 7,800 people – for the past 45 days. The program allowed them to begin to recover in more stable settings with lower health risks than the group shelters that were set up immediately after the fires.

During the NCS program, households that hadn’t met the eligibility requirements received multiple phone calls, text messages and letters from the Red Cross to complete their registration. As of this week, they were informed that they had 48 hours to contact the Red Cross or they would lose key access to their lodging.

About 200 households were determined to be fully eligible on Friday morning alone.

“If a household in NCS has had its room key turned off, received a notice to provide eligibility information, or is confused or concerned about whether they can remain in NCS, they’ve been encouraged to speak to Red Cross workers stationed in the lobbies of their hotels on Friday so that we can resolve their questions and concerns before Saturday morning,” said Brad Kieserman, vice president for disaster operations and logistics with the Red Cross.

Interpreters will be on-site or available to answer questions for survivors who do not speak English, Kieserman said. “We want to ensure this benefit is available to everyone who qualifies.”

“We know the assistance process can be complicated and confusing, especially for those who are still traumatized by the loss of their home or even a loved one,” Governor Green said. “That’s why we’ve tried to make this benefit easily available to everyone displaced by the fires, so please reach out to the Red Cross today.”

A video message from Governor Green and Brad Kieserman is available here and here.

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Media Contacts:    

Erika Engle  

Press Secretary  

Office of the Governor, State of Hawai‘i  

Office: (808) 586-0120

Email: [email protected]  


Makana McClellan    

Director of Communications    

Office of the Governor, State of Hawaiʻi   

Cell: (808) 265-0083    

Email: [email protected]