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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, October 28, 2001

Surviving the hard times
Support, assistance available for the jobless

Advertiser Staff

The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have staggered Hawai'i's economy, leaving tens of thousands of people looking for jobs to stay afloat amid the downturn.

As financial and other pressures build, it can be confusing and hard to know where to turn to find aid for you and your family.

Here are some places that can offer support and assistance following a layoff, furlough or other major financial crisis.

We hope this is helpful. If you have questions about where to find other assistance and information, e-mail us at business@honoluluadvertiser.com, or write to us at Advertiser Business, 605 Kapi'olani Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96813, and we'll do our best to help.

Financial counseling services

• Volunteer Legal Services Hawai'i, Consumer Credit Clinic: 528-7046, (800) 839-5200.

• Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Hawai'i: 532-3225, (800) 801-5999, cccshawaii.org.

• UH College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, Cooperative Extension Service, Family Financial Counseling Program: 956-6519 for an application.

• All Hawai'i credit unions and banking institutions can assist customers who are affected by the recent economic downturn and can't make their payments on time. Call your local branch for details.

Unemployment benefits

• State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Unemployment Benefit Offices:

Honolulu: 830 Punchbowl St., Room 110. Phone: 586-8970, 586-8971

Kane'ohe: 45-1141 Kamehameha Highway, Room 201. Phone: 233-3677

Waipahu: 94-275 Mokuola St., Room 301. Phone: 675-0030

Hilo: 180 Kino'ole St., Suite 210. Phone: 974-4086

Kona: Ashikawa Building, Kealakekua. Phone: 322-4822

Maui: Wailuku: 54 S. High St., Room 201. Phone: 984-8400

Moloka'i: 553-1750

Kaua'i: Lihu'e: 3100 Kuhio Highway, Room C12. Phone: 274-3043

Hours for all offices: 7:45 a.m. to 430 p.m. Monday-Friday. New applicants should arrive no later than 3 p.m. with a photo ID and social security card. Web site: www.dlir.state.hi.us

Free and reduced-price breakfast and lunch for public-school students

• State Department of Education: applications available at all public schools.

Food, clothing, and financial assistance

• Catholic Charities Help Line: 521-4357, catholiccharitieshawaii.org

Free or low-cost employment training

• State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Hawai'i Workforce Development, One-Stop Workforce Assistance Centers, Honolulu: 586-8700, www.dlir.state.hi.us/

• University of Hawai'i Employment Training Center, Office of Student Services: 832-3719, www.hawaii.edu/etcinfo

• Child and Family Service, job education training: 681-1552, www.cfs-hawaii.org

Free family support

• The Parent Line: 526-1222, (800) 816-1222, www.theparentline.org

• Alu Like Inc., Pulama I Na Keiki: 535-6766, www.alulike.org

Childcare subsidies

• Maximus Child Care Connection Hawai'i: 483-7340

• Downtown Child Care Connection Hawai'i Unit 1: 587-5266

• Child Care Connection (Neighbor Islands), Hawai'i Behavioral Health: (808) 935-6109

• Alu Like Inc., Services for Native Hawaiians, Child Care Assistance Project: 535-1300, www.alulike.org

For general assistance

• Aloha United Way: ASK-2000, (877) 275-6569, www.auw.org/

Health insurance

• Hawaii Medical Service Association provides assistance to members who have lost health insurance because they have been laid off or had hours reduced from the events of Sept. 11. The program provides coverage up to 18 months, and HMSA will reduce dues for the affected worker and spouse by half and cover children for free for the first three months. The program is for members who have no other coverage available.

Those interested should call HMSA on O'ahu at 948-6309 or neighbor islands at (800) 643-3083.

• Kaiser Permanente Hawaii will soon announce its program to assist laid-off workers.

• The state offers free health insurance for low- to moderate-income individuals and families through its Med-QUEST program. For information and application forms, call 587-3540 in Honolulu or 692-7364 in Kapolei. Children under age 19 are eligible for Med-QUEST coverage under less restrictive rules.

Job resources

• Oahu Work Links offers no-cost services for job-seekers, including employment-related workshops and training services, and is a partnership that includes the state of Hawai'i's Workforce Development Division, the City & County of Honolulu's WorkHawaii, Alu Like Inc., and the Honolulu Community Action Program.

Work Links' full-service, one-stop sites:

On O'ahu:

Honolulu: Dillingham Shopping Plaza, Room 110, 1505 Dillingham Blvd., 843-0733

Honolulu: 830 Punchbowl St., Room 112, 586-8700

'Aiea: Makalapa Community Center, 99-102 Kalaloa St., 488-5630

Waialua: Waialua Shopping Center, 67-292 Goodale Ave., 637-6508

Wai'anae: Wai'anae Neighborhood Center, 85-670 Farrington Highway, Room 6, 696-7067

Kane'ohe: 45-1141 Kamehameha Highway, 233-3700

Waipahu: 94-275 Mokuola St., Room 300, 675-0010

On Maui: 984-2091

On Kaua'i: 274-3056

On Big Island: 974-4126

Tuition aid

• Some colleges, including Hawaii Business College, are offering tuition discounts to people laid off since Sept. 11. Check with each college for details.

Economic updates

• For daily updates on the number of people filing unemployment claims and the number of visitor arrivals, see the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism Web site, www.state.hi.us/dbedt/

Sources: Center on the Family, University of Hawai'i, state Department of Labor, Oahu WorkLinks, Hawaii Medical Services Association, Kaiser Permanente.