Update of March 25, 2020
Revised on March 26, 2020
Dear Kauai Habitat ohana,
I understand that our new rules and all the changes during this pandemic may have you feeling very uneasy and anxious. I share your concerns and want to assure you that we are always working toward the best interest of our staff, volunteers, and homeowners.
- Mandatory stay-at-home orders from Governor Ige and Mayor Kawakami
The stay-at-home orders announced on March 23 by Governor Ige and also Mayor Kawakami begin on Wednesday, March 25 and lasts through Thursday, April 30.
Kauai Habitat is exempt from this order as we are considered an essential business. All staff will be reporting to work as per normal schedules and will be issued individual letters stating that they are essential workers of Kauai Habitat for Humanity. These letters should be shown to officials if needed at checkpoint stations.
We must however, institute the following changes for in the interest of our community and public health and safety, and to help do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Volunteers and Homeowners
Volunteers and Homeowners will not be hosted at Habitat volunteer sites from now through April 30 and should remain at home and follow the mandated stay-at-home orders. We will be ready to return to full operating status once our community mandated stay-at-home orders are lifted.
ReStore be temporarily closed to the public from March 26 through April 30. We will reopen as soon as we are able.
All office-based staff will continue to work from home through April 30. Some essential work outside the home will continue to be required of certain positions as it pertains to their role (banking, mail, technology). No in-person meetings with applicants or homeowners will take place. The office remains closed to walk-in customers. We are looking into creating a mail drop slot next to the main office door for paperwork drop offs (more on this in the days ahead).
The Construction industry is exempt from this – the mandate for stay-at-home does not apply. Construction staff and AmeriCorps members will continue to report to work as normally scheduled. Staff and AmeriCorps will continue to disinfect work areas, tools, equipment and maintain social distancing of 6 feet or more while working. Beginning March 30, construction work days at the Eleele Iluna site will be Monday-Friday, through April 30.
Thank you everyone for your understanding and cooperation. Be well and stay safe. We WILL get through this!
Acting Executive Director
Kaua`i Habitat for Humanity
Issued Monday, March 16, 2020
Updated Friday, March 20, 2020
Aloha to our Kauai Habitat ohana,
We are closely monitoring all latest news regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the U.S., the State of Hawaii, and our island. To protect the health and safety of our staff, homebuyers, volunteers, and community, we are taking the following proactive steps to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We will re-assess these protocols as updates occur:
- Office staff have been instructed to work from home beginning March 17 through March 31. They may be contacted by email or phone. Visit the About Us tab or click here to find contact information.
- A limited number of administrative staff continue to report to the office for brief time periods in order to continue essential operational functions.
- The office is closed to walk-in customers. A sign has been placed on the door to indicate phone numbers and emails of staff members.
- In-person meetings have been discontinued. Required meetings will take place by teleconference or phone.
- Additional disinfecting cleaning protocols have been put in place.
Events, Meetings, and Travel
All previously scheduled Kauai Habitat events have been canceled. This includes planned homeowner dedications, receptions, and dinners. Meetings will no longer be held in-person, but can continue using phone and teleconferencing. Planned travel for conferences have been canceled.
- Kauai resident volunteers and volunteer groups will no not be hosted beginning March 17 through March 31. Core Volunteers are exempt if they are not ill, are physically willing and able to serve, and follow the new protocols outlined in our response. Core Volunteers must schedule work shifts with their assigned supervisors and may contact our Volunteer Program Manager for any questions.
- Visiting volunteers (from off-island), including group volunteers, will not be hosted beginning March 17 through April 30.
Homebuyer Sweat Equity Program
- Beginning March 17 through March 31 Sweat Equity hours requirements are waived. Previous program rules required homebuyers to contribute at least 30 hours per week.
- Homebuyers who are not ill, and physically willing and able to serve, may continue working at the site by scheduling with their assigned supervisor. All must adhere to the protocols outlined in this response.
- ReStore will continue normal operating hours.
- Donor donation drop-offs continue, but staff will follow distancing protocols.
- Pick-ups for large donations of goods may continue on a case-by-case basis as determined by the store manager.
- Periodic closure of the store will occur under the direction of the manager.
- Disinfecting protocols have been put in place.
- A hand sanitizer station has been set up for shoppers use upon entry to the store.
- Floor markings have been added at the check out desk to ensure customers maintain safe social distancing.
- Signage is placed to remind shoppers of social distancing.
Construction Sites (Eleele Iluna and Anahola)
- Construction staff and AmeriCorps Members will continue to report to work as scheduled in an effort to maintain progress on homes under construction.
- Social Distancing: Only 2 people are allowed to work in and around each house. All workers must maintain a distance of 6 feet away from each other while working.
- Core Volunteers and Homebuyers may work, but must schedule shifts directly with their assigned supervisors in order to keep to our limited numbers and help maintain social distancing protocols.
- In accordance with protocols mentioned under Volunteer Program above, non-core volunteers will not be hosted at this time.
- Eleele Iluna: Construction sites in Eleele will remain in operation as normally scheduled from Tuesday-Saturday.
- Anahola: Construction sites in Anahola will remain in operation as normally scheduled from Thursday-Sunday.
- Disinfecting of tools and equipment has been put in place using a CDC-recommended bleach an water solution and will occur regularly at all sites.
We hope to resume normal operations as soon as it is safe to do so. We will continue to monitor expert recommendations and government mandates. Updates to our COVID-19 response protocols will be posted here and on Facebook as they occur.
Please stay safe and thank you for all you continue to do to support our work here on Kauai.
Acting Executive Director