The Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, as trustee of the Public Health Fund (PHF), presented a $57,000 grant to the Institute for Human Services (IHS) today. The new funds will be used by IHS to support their Children’s Enrichment Program.

“Today’s grant to IHS continues the Public Health Fund’s 120-year long record of serving Oahu’s most vulnerable communities,” Sherry Menor McNamara, Chamber of Commerce Hawaii President & CEO said. “As Hawaii families continue to struggle with finding permanent housing, this grant will assist IHS’ ability to ensure that children in their care continue to grow and thrive.”

“Through this new funding, IHS will be able to continue and expand the enrichment programs we provide to families as part of our holistic approach to overcoming homelessness,” Kimo K. Carvalho, Spokesperson, The Institute for Human Services said. “We thank the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii for their continued commitment to IHS and the future of our keiki.”

IHS will use the PHF grant to assess the needs of children at its emergency family shelter, ensure that eligible children receive access to medical and dental insurance through MedQuest, establish an after school program, provide resources to help children manage stress, bullying and other mental health challenges and conduct activity programs during summer and winter breaks.

Through the PHF, the Chamber provides grants to non-profit organizations on Oahu that are implementing meaningful public health education and research projects, with a preference for projects that require collaborative effort and for which funds are not available from other sources.

The PHF was originally created through voluntary assessments in response to the epidemic of bubonic plaque that closed Honolulu Harbor and quarantined part of Honolulu in 1899. The Chamber was, subsequently, appointed trustee of the fund in 1923 and directed to limit grants to public health activities within the City and County of Honolulu to support health-related programs, projects and services. Assessments were discontinued in 1950 and, since then, grant awards are made through the interest and dividends received from investment of principal.

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