VIDEO & PHOTOS: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Attends Hilo Pride Event, Recognizes Puna Tiny Homes Opening, Hosts Community Town Hall with State, Local Representatives
Today on Hawaiʻi Island, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) attended a Hilo Pride event at the Hilo Moʻoheau Bandstand, supported the opening of a new micro-homes transitional housing project in Pāhoa, hosted a community town hall with Puna’s local and state officials, and attended “Imua Puna,” a benefit for those displaced by Kīlauea’s eruptions.
After visiting with constituents at the kick-off of the Hilo Pride Parade, the congresswoman participated in the blessing and opening ceremony of the micro-homes project in Pāhoa that was built in just 30 days, through the support of community, county, state, and National Guard. The housing village opened twenty units that will provide transitional shelter for seniors and disabled individuals who have lost their homes to Kīlauea’s lava flow. The village will include an office, storage space, and a covered community pavilion on an acre of land owned by the Catholic Diocese of Honolulu. In her comments, the congresswoman recognized Gilbert Aguinaldo who came up with this idea, Darryl Oliveira, Brandee Menino of Hope Services Hawaiʻi , the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard 230th Engineer Company, and all the businesses, workers, and volunteers who came together in the spirit of aloha to build 20 units in less than one month. The congresswoman also visited a future transitional housing site for families being organized by Ikaika Marzo, which aims to start by building fifty temporary units.
Later in the afternoon, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard joined Senator Russell Ruderman, Councilwoman Eileen O'Hara, and Rep. Joy San Buenaventura in hosting a town hall for the Puna community to share legislative updates, hear community concerns, and answer questions about what is happening at the local, state, and federal level to help those displaced by Kīlauea’s eruptions. The representatives answered questions on FEMA and Small Business Administration (SBA) assistance, insurance claims, the Disaster Recovery Center, access to homes and property, and much more.
In the evening, the congresswoman attended the “Imua Puna” benefit hosted at the Eagles Club. The event raised money for those displaced by the Kīlauea lava flows.