OHA Awards $1.8 Million to 16 Native Hawaiian-Serving Nonprofits


The Office of Hawaiian Affairs’ (OHA) Grants Program supports Hawaiʻi-based nonprofit organizations that have projects, programs and initiatives that serve the lāhui in alignment with OHA’s strategic plan, which targets economic, health, housing, and education strategic directions.

In October, more than $1.8 million was awarded to a total of 16 community nonprofits.

The slew of grant awards approved last month were highlighted by two community nonprofits that would provide experiential employment and workforce development programs for Native Hawaiians.

An Economic Stability grant of $500,000 was awarded to the Homestead Community Development Corporation for its statewide Residential Employment Living Improvement Project, which would provide employment opportunities, training and job placement services for an estimated 95 individuals.

A $400,000 grant was awarded to Kauaʻi’s Hoʻākeolapono Trades Academy and Institute for its Building Through Innovation Program which would offer workforce development in the building and construction industry for an estimated 32 community members.

“It is our honor to stand side by side with these community partners as we work in unison to better the lives of Native Hawaiians,” said OHA Board Chair Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey. “Our intent is to strengthen our ʻohana, our culture and our ʻāina, and together with these outstanding organizations, we can accomplish so much more for our beneficiaries.”

OHA also awarded six $100,000 ʻĀina Grants to the following organizations: Hui Mālama i ke Ala ʻŪlili to restore and steward 20 acres of of regenerative ʻulu agroforestry on Hawaiʻi Island; Aloha Kuamoʻo ʻĀina for its Mālama Kuamoʻo Community Stewardship Program which will help restore a 3-acre portion of Kuamoʻo on Hawaiʻi Island; ʻĀina Alliance for preservation, stewardship and restoration activities along Kauaʻi’s Anahola coastline; The Men of PAʻA for its Imu Mea ʻAi project, an ʻāina-based recovery and community service program for men transitioning from the justice system and at-risk youth in Puna on Hawaiʻi Island; Papakōlea Community Development Corporation for its Pūowaina Research and Education Project to increase educational programming in Papakōlea, Oʻahu; and Keaukaha Panaʻewa Community Alliance for its Mahiʻai Project to provide agricultural workshops on Hawaiʻi Island.

A $100,0000 Moʻomeheu (cultural) grant was awarded to Ka Ipu Makani Cultural Heritage Center for its Moaʻe Molokaʻi Digitization Project, which will assist with the preservation of cultural content unique and specific to Molokaʻi.

In addition, back in July 2023, OHA presented the first of its new Kākoʻo Grant Program awards. Kākoʻo Grants are intended to strengthen community organizations’ grant applications and post-award monitoring and reporting – not just for OHA, but for county, state, federal, and community resourcing as well. They are intended for operational administration funding and support services and may include, but are not limited to: grant writing; program implementation and evaluation support; paying for financial audits, accountants and accounting services; business insurance; or Form 990 preparation.

Organizations awarded Kākoʻo Grants in July were: Going Home Hawaiʻi ($25,000), Hawaiian Historical Society ($25,000), ʻAha Punana Leo, Inc. ($25,000); Homestead Community Development Corporation ($20,000), and the J. Walter Cameron Center ($15,000).

In October, trustees approved additional Kākoʻo Grants awards for: Laʻiʻōpua 2020 ($25,000), ʻĀina Alliance ($25,000), Infinite Reach [dba Native Hawaiian Innovation Institute] ($25,000), The Men of PAʻA ($15,000) and the Kalaeloa Heritage & Legacy Foundation ($15,000).