The MAUITUF Initiative

Vision: Providing a community for those suffering in order to heal and transition into a better, brighter future by providing temporary housing, social programs, spiritual, physical and emotional support to the families that have lost their homes to the Maui wildfires.


Incorporating the KŪKULU KUMUHANA Framework:

The MAUI TUF Initiative is deeply committed to improving the well-being of Native Hawaiians, especially those affected by the Maui Wildfires. Drawing inspiration from the KŪKULU KUMUHANA planning committeeʻs approach, our strategy is anchored in the following principles:

Native Hawaiian Wellbeing Models:
Recognizing the unique cultural, spiritual, and emotional needs of Native Hawaiians, our programs will be designed based on indigenous well-being models. This ensures that our interventions are not only effective but also resonate deeply with the community's values and beliefs.

Collaborative Efforts:
Collaboration is at the heart of our approach. We will actively engage with local agencies, community leaders, and affected individuals to co-create programs that address the most pressing needs of those impacted by the wildfires.

Action-Oriented Steps:
Beyond planning, our initiative emphasizes swift and impactful action. From providing immediate shelter to long-term support, our efforts will be geared towards tangible outcomes that uplift and empower Native Hawaiian families.

Continuous Evaluation:
In line with the KŪKULU KUMUHANA report's emphasis on evaluation, our initiative will invest in regular assessments of our programs. Feedback from the community, coupled with data-driven insights, will guide our refinements and ensure the sustained relevance of our interventions.

Using an approach grounded in the KŪKULU KUMUHANA Native Hawaiian Well-being framework , the MAUI TUF Initiative aims to provide a culturally sensitive and comprehensive approach to disaster recovery. Our commitment is to ensure that the Native Hawaiian families affected by the Maui Wildfires not only rebuild their homes but also rediscover their cultural roots, strengthen community bonds, and enhance their overall well-being.


Hawaii has faced a series of calamities since 2018, with events like the Kauai floods, the Kilauea lava flows, and most recently, the Maui Wildfires of 2023. The scars of these disasters, especially on Native Hawaiians, run deep. Even after half a decade, numerous families remain uprooted, struggling to rebuild and find solace.

Mauiʻs devastation as of August 13, 2023:
FEMA maps show 2,207 structures damaged or destroyed *Maui Now News*
Kula/Olinda: There have been 19 homes destroyed in the that wildfire that started Aug. 8, 2023, including three homes in Olinda and 16 in Kula *Maui Now News*

In our dialogue with local agencies and affected individuals, a concerning pattern emerged. During the initial aftermath of these disasters, government resources, including FEMA, are promptly deployed, providing robust support during the crucial response phase. However, as time progresses and these entities conclude their operations, this support significantly diminishes, often leaving families feeling stranded and overwhelmed. Piles of debris remain uncleared, essential funding evaporates, and the community's sense of hope dwindles. The grim reality that hits hardest is witnessing Native Hawaiian families, even five years post-disaster, continuing to reside in tents, with the weight of abandonment pressing upon them.

The Three Phases of Disaster Recovery:
Phase 1 (Response): Rescue, Evacuate, Survival
Phase 2 (Recovery): Clear, Restore, Survival
Phase 3 (Rebuild): Rebuild, Rehouse, Restore

Response: This phase centers on immediate survival needs. It involves the provision of food, essential supplies, ensuring access to clean water, restoring power, and establishing clear communication channels to address urgent concerns.

Recovery: Initiated once the immediate dangers have subsided. During this phase, the emphasis shifts to cleaning up and addressing the direct aftermath of the disaster. Communities grapple with debris removal, restoring basic utilities, and attending to the emotional and physical well-being of the affected individuals.

Rebuild: This is the long-term phase focused on restoring and improving the affected area. It encompasses rebuilding infrastructures, rehousing displaced families, and implementing measures to prevent land loss and further marginalization of affected populations.

Project Goal and Objectives
To create a comprehensive disaster recovery facility and support system on a 10-acre land, offering immediate shelter, long-term housing, and holistic recovery programs addressing physical, emotional, and cultural needs of families affected by the Maui Wildfires.


Objective 1: By December 31, 2023 200 families will be temporarily housed and sheltered measured by registration and assigned units.

Temporary Shelter Units: Dedicate 4 acres to house 150 foldable container units from Continest. These units, being environmentally-friendly and quickly deployable, will cater to immediate housing needs, function as storage and service areas.
Tiny Homes: Allocate another 4 acres for 100 mobile tiny homes on trailers. These will be provided to affected families as temporary yet more personalized living spaces. As families find permanent solutions, these homes can be relocated or passed on to support other families in need.

Objective 2: By June 30, 2024 Increase the cultural connection of 200 families through culturally appropriate, multi-generational training in cultivating plants needed to perpetuate, promote and enhance Hawaiian cultural practices, while providing food crops to sustain the families.

Reconnection and Sustenance:
Agroforestry Program: The Agroforestry program intertwines modern horticulture with Native Hawaiian traditions, fostering a deep connection to the land and ancestral wisdom. Educational modules cover plant identification, propagation techniques, cultural significance in dance, language, and historical lore, as well as traditional uses ranging from food to weaponry. Incorporating both ancient and contemporary processing methods, the program emphasizes cultural competency. Participants actively engage in research, interpreting oral and written references, to understand and perpetuate traditional practices and the rich heritage of native flora.

Objective 3: By December 31, 2024, ensure that 200 families have accessed and benefited from holistic support and rehabilitation services, encompassing document recovery, resource accessibility, emotional well-being, cultural connection, and sustainable living practices.

Support and Rehabilitation Programs:
Documentation Assistance: Offer support in reclaiming essential documents like Social Security cards, birth certificates, and IDs.
Resource Access Assistance: Provide guidance and assistance in accessing essential resources, including FEMA, State and government financial support programs, insurance claims processing, and low-interest loans.
Emotional Support: Establish grief and trauma counseling services for the affected families, ensuring emotional and mental well-being.
Recreational Activities: Introduce both youth and adult sports programs to foster community bonding and provide a recreational outlet.
Agriculture and Gardening: Launch farming and gardening programs, further promoting self-sufficiency and connection to the land.
Cultural and Identity Programs: Offer cultural programs that focus on healing, storytelling, climate resilience, and identity reinforcement.
Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship: Conduct culturally-tailored financial literacy workshops and small business seminars, enabling families to regain financial stability and independence.
Transportation: Introduce a shuttle service to facilitate movement across different parts of Maui, ensuring families remain connected.
Nutrition and Lifestyle: Organize cooking and healthy lifestyle programs to promote wellness and nutrition among residents.
The success of The MAUI TUF Initiative relies on strong collaborations with key partners:
- King's Cathedral
- Family Life Center
- The Underdog Foundation
- Hawaii Off Grid
- Goodfellow Bros
- Waianae Economic Development Council
- Integrity Service LLC
- Aumana
- Papa Ola Lokahi
-Vertical Raise