Molina Asks Mayor to Extend the H.E.L.P. Assistance Program

Maui county councilmember Michael Molina.

Councilmember Michael J. Molina transmitted a request to the mayor on Thursday, seeking to extend the Hawaiʻi Emergency Laulima Partnership or H.E.L.P. program to Dec. 31, 2020 and increase the appropriation by adding $3 million to the program.

The H.E.L.P. program provides financial assistance for Maui County residents to pay for essential needs due to a layoff, reduction in hours or loss of income related to COVID-19. Currently, applications for the H.E.L.P. program are being accepted until Oct. 31, 2020, the program is scheduled to terminate on that date.

As of last week Friday, Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. had processed over 10,000 applications totaling more than $5.2 million in assistance.

Molina said that even though travel may be opening in limited numbers, jobs are still scarce and the potential for increased unemployment benefits are still an uncertainty.

“This is truly a substantial benefit to our residents,” said Molina.  “I am proud that this program is able to reach so many of our families in need.”

“There is no certainty as to how this new opening in travel will impact our health and safety, said Molina. Therefore, it should be made a priority to continue the H.E.L.P. program and increase its funds to assist families through the end of the year.”

* Mike Molina is Chair of the Council’s Governance, Ethics, and Transparency Committee.  He holds the council seat for the Makawao-Haʻikū-Pāʻia residency area. 

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