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Hawaii County assistance programs.

Programs that offer financial aid for bills

The main organizations to call for financial help in the County of Hawaii are below. Any type of assistance is usually temporary in nature, so if someone receive funds for an electric bill or help with their rent, it will only cover a limited dollar amount. If funds are not available, then referrals may be given to other non-profit organizations, such as public aid from LIHEAP or Section 8 housing.

The Hilo office of Catholic Charities will, on occasion, have emergency funding available. If they do not, then referrals are given instead from their Intake Service. All of the information from the churches is provided at no cost to any family from Hawaii County.

  • Financial aid can help with bills that left unpaid could result in homelessness, and this may be utility costs, water bills, home repairs, or rent.
  • Vouchers from Catholic Charities can help pay for prescription in life threatening situations. Residents can also find other programs for free prescriptions.
  • Self-sufficiency, such as bus passes, clothing for work, or gasoline vouchers.

Those are some examples of what may be offered from their office at 62 Kinoole Street in Hilo. There is also a charity in Kailua Kona. Call (808) 961-4673 for intake.

Hawaii County Economic Opportunity Council, or EOC, is the regional community action agency. This non-profit helps families living in poverty overcome their challenges. The goal is to break a cycle of homelessness and/or poverty.

While they may have referrals to government grant programs, such as LIHEAP for paying utility bills, a major focus is on employment and education. Case managers will work with the struggling client to help them gain self-sufficiency. The office is at 47 Rainbow Drive, Hilo, HI 96720. Call (808) 961-2681.

Hope Services – Many assistance programs are run by this non-profit, including emergency homeless prevention. They are based at 296 Kilauea Avenue in Hilo. There are budgeting classes that will help with debts or credit repairs. Referrals are given to low income housing or no-interest loan programs for paying bills or rent. There is also landlord/tenant mediation, information on housing rights, resources for security deposits, and other financial support from Hope Services. Call (808) 935-3050.




Salvation Army Hilo Corps – Emergency programs range from shelter to funds for utility bills, food , clothing, or rent/security deposits. They also have seasonal programs such as free back to school supplies as well as Thanksgiving and Christmas programs. The office is at 210 Ponohawai St., Hilo, Hawaii 96720. The Family Service number is (808) 935-1277.

HIV/AIDs Foundation of Hawaii Island offers support to patients and families. Services range from medical care to housing, transportation to a doctor, and clothing. Applications may be available to government grant programs too. The number is (808) 331-8177.

Free holiday programs are available across Hawaii County. Children may be given Christmas toys or gifts, and families entire meals or food baskets. Whether it is Christmas, Thanksgiving, or Easter, they may be help as the holidays so that everyone can celebrate. Read more Hawaii Christmas and holiday help.

Medical and dental care from clinics in the Hilo area

There are several places for low to moderate income families to try. Many of these community clinics offer care on a sliding fee scale, so the patient is still responsible for a portion of their medical bills.

West Hawaii Community Health Center provides medical service also also help with the Hawaii Health Connector program. Patients range from the under to un-insured. The address is 75-5751 Kuakini Highway in Kailua Kona. Call (808) 769-5160 for an appointment.

Hilo Women's Health Center – Bay Clinic focuses on women, including single moms or those that are pregnant. There may be low cost cancer screenings, dental check ups, help for depression, counseling services for pregnancy concerns, and more. Phone (808) 333-3500.





The Molokai Community Health Center – The non-profit clinic offers dental assistance such as cleanings or extractions, health care, WIC vouchers for baby formula, behavioral health and other care. Address is 30 Oki Place, Kaunakakai, Hawaii 96748. Phone (808) 553-5038.

Debt and credit counseling in Hawaii County

CCS provides help to families in the county. Whether it is mortgage or foreclosure help, or support in reducing debts such as credit cards or personal loans, they offer support. Some consumers may be able to enroll with the non-profit and not need to pay a fee. The toll free number is (808) 532-3225, or find additional resources for debt help.

Food assistance and hunger prevention programs

Some of the food pantries are as follows. They may have everything from groceries to free personal hygiene items, applications to SNAP food stamps, and more. A few of the charities also serve holiday meals.

Christ Lutheran Church operates a food bank at 595 Kapiolani Street in Hilo for the working poor. Donations of fruits, canned food, and perishable items keep it running. Phone - (808) 935-8612.




Kinoole Baptist Church – When open, food may be passed out from the center at 1815 Kinoole Street. Dial (808) 959-5621.

St. Joseph Church has an address in Hilo of 43 Kapiolani Street. (808) 935-1465.

Several other pantries also provide food. Not only that, but they often operate soup kitchens for hot meals, or offer basic goods such as clothing and pass out cleaning supplies. Find other charities for holiday meals, free groceries and more from Hawaii County food pantries.


By Jon McNamara

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