Community Corner

How To Get the Assistance You Need

We’re all facing the same challenges. All of us. So if you could use a helping hand, don’t keep it a secret. Reach out to get the help you need.

Talk to creditors. If shutdowns have made it difficult to meet your financial obligations, the worst thing you can do is to stop paying your bills without communicating with creditors. Call each one, let them know you’re having financial difficulties and work out a repayment plan together. They’ll understand.

Check with utility companies. You may have fallen behind in your payments, but having your service turned off will only create additional service reconnection fees for you to pay. And the electric, gas and water companies would really prefer not to cut your service anyway. So give them a call and ask for assistance in scheduling affordable payments.

Feed your family. Even nonprofit organizations like the Hawaii Foodbank are experiencing difficulties with limited resources and increasing demand. Fortunately local farmers, businesses, labor organizations and community groups are stepping forward to assist with food drives that are feeding thousands of hungry families around Oahu. Tune in to the news and social media for information on the next event.

Call 2-1-1 for Aloha United Way. Or go online to the AUW website at See if you qualify for any of the available programs: 1) State of Hawaii Rent Relief and Housing Assistance Program; 2) City & County of Honolulu – Household Hardship Relief Fund; 3) Department of Hawaiian Home Lands – COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistant; and 4) Aloha United Way COVID-19 Rent & Utility Assistance.  AUW can also refer you to a wide range of other community services.

Contact your community leaders. Your congressional senator and representative and your city councilperson can also provide useful information.  Call their offices to inquire about the latest pandemic assistance programs.