Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne Johnson Pledge $10 Million to Direct Payments to People in Maui Who Can’t Return Home because of wildfiresthrough a new fund they announced Thursday.
this Maui People’s Foundation According to the fund’s website, the fund will provide $1,200 a month to adults who have been unable to return to their primary residence due to the recent wildfires, including those who own and rent out homes. The fund will also seek donations to extend support over time.
“How can we help?” said the “Young Rock” star as he and Overry asked each other during the wildfires, saying in a video released alongside the announcement that they are grappling with how best to guide their efforts . “You want to take care of people’s biggest need, which is to give them money.”
They expect help from “everyone who calls me and asks ‘what can I do,’ ” Winfrey said in the video. “That’s what you can do.”
The duo were inspired by a similar fund Dolly Parton started after. Wildfires engulf GatlinburgIn Tennessee, December 2016, 14 people were killed and 2,400 buildings were destroyed.
Jeff Conyers, president of the Dollywood Foundation, said he has consulted with Winfrey’s team several times over the past few weeks to share the lessons they have learned in managing the fund, which ultimately provides funds to families who have lost their homes. raised $11 million.
“Dolly’s thinking was, ‘Hey, look, these are my people, I want to take care of them, and we trust them to know how their own and their families’ recovery will go in the days and weeks following this immediate disaster. what it’s like,'” said Conyers.
Conyers said Parton’s fund, called My People’s Fund, worked with first responders and a local utility company to ask residents to help them identify which buildings were destroyed and who lived in those homes. About 1,000 families ended up receiving assistance from the fund, according to one agency. Evaluate from the Knoxville School of Social Work, University of Tennessee. This includes a one-time transfer of $5,000 at the end of the six months.
To qualify for the Maui People’s Fund, applicants must show government-issued identification and a utility bill in their name for a lost or uninhabitable residence, the fund’s website says.
Winfrey, who lives in Maui part-time, visited an emergency shelter in Maui in the days after the wildfires struck and raised concerns resources for residents.At least The fire has killed 115 people, although an unknown amount is still missing. The fire that engulfed the historic town of Lahaina on Aug. 8 was the deadliest in more than a century in the United States.
Forecasters warned Wednesday high winds and low humidity That has increased the risk of the fire spreading rapidly in the western part of the Hawaiian islands, although it is not as strong as the winds that fueled the deadly blaze three weeks ago.
In their announcement, Winfrey and Johnson said they consulted with “community elders, leaders and residents, including Hōkūlani Holt-Padilla, Keali’i Reichel, Archie Kalepa, Ekolu Lindsey, Kimo Falconer, Tiare Lawrence, Kaimana Brummel, Kaleikoa Ka’eo, Brian Keaulana, Kaimi Kaneholani, Henohea Kane, Paele Kiakona, Ed Suwanjindar, Shep Gordon and Jason Momoa.”
The Entertainment Industry Fund, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that helps celebrities manage their philanthropic work, is sponsoring the fund, the announcement said.
Johnson and Winfrey hope the fund will continue to flow to eligible residents for at least six months, but Winfrey said it will be up to the American public based on their support and donations to determine the fund’s duration.
Holly Welcome Radice, Americas regional representative for CALP Network, an organization that researches cash transfer programs, says targeting is important when developing direct cash transfer programs. In this case, she said, $1,200 should be equivalent to the price of housing or living expenses for an adult in the area, or whatever need the fund seeks to meet.
“If you transfer value that doesn’t connect to people’s reality, it’s going to be hard to get there,” she said, adding that the fund should consider whether the local economy can handle the influx of money and map out what other benefits people can provide. Serve. need.
“Cash is a very straightforward way for people to benefit and have agency if it’s feasible and appropriate,” Ladis said.
She said the fund should also take the time to clearly communicate the parameters of the scheme “so that people understand who is eligible and why they are, and make sure there is some type of feedback mechanism where people can appeal.”