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Public-Private partnership secures personal protective equipment


For Service Providers on O‘ahu with Statewide Distribution

Several community nonprofits are partnering with the State of Hawai‘i to secure donations of homemade and unopened store-bought personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks, goggles and face shields, and distribute them to behavioral health workers and social service providers statewide, to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19. Three drop-off and distribution sites, or “resilience hubs,” have been organized and will open on O‘ahu on Thursday, April 9.

The effort is a public-private partnership with the Hawai‘i Department of Health, the Office of the Governor’s Coordinator on Homelessness, the Hawai‘i Department of Human Services, and three nonprofit providers who will operate the hubs: KROC Center in Kapolei, KEY Project in Kahalu‘u and YMCA in Kalihi. Funds for the effort were donated from BlackSand Capital into the Hawai‘i Resilience Fund, with a match from The Hawai‘i Community Foundation.

The effort aligns with the new recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

“Our stateʻs behavioral health and homeless providers are rising to the challenge to maintain continuity of services while ensuring safety of both staff and clients,” said Eddie Mersereau, Deputy Director of the Department of Health, Behavioral Health Administration.

In the future the resilience hubs will also begin accepting supplies such as bleach, hand sanitizer, paper towels and toilet paper. The public can drop off items Monday through Friday during set times at each resilience hub or contact the facility to schedule a delivery during different hours.

KROC Center in Kapolei

91-3257 Kualakai Parkway, Ewa Beach, HI 96706

Drop-off hours: 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

(808) 682-5505

Opens: Thursday, April 9, 2020

KEY Project

47-200 Waihee Road, Kaneohe, HI 96744

Drop-off hours: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

(808) 239-5777

Opens: Thursday, April 9, 2020

Kalihi YMCA

1335 Kalihi St., Honolulu, HI 96819

Drop-off hours: 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

(808) 848-2494

Opens: Thursday, April 9, 2020

“We feel fortunate to be able to support key nonprofits in our community and the incredible individuals who are continuing to serve our most vulnerable populations at this critical time,” said B.J. Kobayashi, CEO of BlackSand Capital.

“Thanks to the generosity of BlackSand Capital and the Hawai‘i Community Foundation we will be able to better protect many of Hawai‘i’s behavioral health workers and social service providers against COVID-19,” said Major Phil Lum, Administrator, The Salvation Army Kroc Center Hawai‘i. “This kind of community-driven approach is exactly what we need right now and we are so glad to be a part of it.”

The effort will begin on O‘ahu, with statewide distribution of the donated supplies.  Expansion of additional hubs on the Neighbor Islands is being discussed.

“As the pandemic continues, ensuring continuity of care of our behavioral health and homelessness services system is vital because of the pandemic’s economic, social and psychological impacts,” said Scott Morishige, the Governorʻs Coordinator on Homelessness.

To learn more about this initiative or for other ways to provide community support during the pandemic, please visit the Behavioral Health and Homelessness Statewide Unified Response Group (BHH-SURG) website at

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