CARES Utility Assistance

As of November 23, 2020 Applications Have Closed

HCEOC will continue to process those applications previously submitted until funding is expended.



HCEOC extends a sincere MAHALO to our community partners and funders that have worked with us to meet the increasing needs in our communities during this crisis.
The Hawai‘i Resilience Fund at the Hawai‘i Community Foundation
Hawai’i Island United Way Hawai’i
COUNTY OF HAWAI’I: Mayor’s Office, Office of Aging, County Council

For Immediate Release: March 24, 2020

As of March 25, 2020, the Hawaii County Economic Opportunity Council (HCEOC) will be closing their offices in East and West Hawaii to walking-in traffic but will remain operational. HCEOC will continue to provide services that are essential especially during this time due to COVID-19. HCEOC requests that all program inquires be made by phone or e-mail to eliminate in-person interaction and staff will respond within one business day. HCEOC ask for the applicants and client’s patience’s as we expect some delay due to the overwhelming phone calls.

Hawaii County Economic Opportunity Council

East Hawaii – 808-961-2681 ext#400

West Hawaii – 808-322-3428

Fax – 808-961-2812



As we learn more about the COVID-19,  Hawai’i County Economic Opportunity Council (HCEOC) believes our priority is the safety and health of our staff and service participants.  HCEOC is taking an active role in preventing the spread of the virus.  We have implemented a three-tiered leveled response and have created a Response Team that collects and disburses information to create consistent communication.

One of our actions is to increase its already rigorous disinfecting and cleaning schedule. Our normal cleaning schedule for vehicles and program sites is before and after each workday.  In addition to the regular cleaning schedule, HCEOC is disinfecting and wiping down passenger seats, door handles and high touch surfaces at each drop off-site and service site.    All staff and participants should wash hands frequently for 20 seconds and avoid touching the face, especially eyes, nose, and mouth.   Knowledge is power therefore we will be monitoring information provided by the State of Hawai’i Department of Health and the Centers for Disease  Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Promise of Community Action

Community Action changes people’s lives, embodies the spirit of hope, improves communities, and makes America a better place to live. We care about the entire community, and we are dedicated to helping people help themselves and each other.

HCEOC’s mission is to reduce, mitigate and alleviate poverty in the County of Hawaii.

Our goal is to enable low-income individuals to become self-sufficient.

Hawaii County Economic Opportunity Council is located at 47 Rainbow Drive in Hilo, Hawai’i.  We are a 501c(3) non-profit organization.  Funding for our programs comes from a variety of County of Hawaii, State of Hawaii, and Federal sources, including the Older Americans Act.

HCEOC offers various programs and services throughout the island, please browse through our website to see the various programs and services we offer.

To help us achieve our mission and goal either financially or by volunteering, please call 961-2681, ext 400.  We look forward to hearing from you!!

Keep up to date with HCEOC-happenings CLICK BELOW


Some people seeking support come to the Hawai’i County Economic Opportunity Council (HCEOC) think they are coming to a County of Hawai’i department or agency.  While HCEOC considers itself a partner of Hawai’i County and their work in communities, HCEOC is actually a part of a much larger and longstanding national partnership linking communities all across the nation to tackle the complex issues surrounding poverty.  HCEOC along with Maui Economic Opportunity Council, Honolulu Community Action Program Inc., and Kaua’i Economic Opportunity Council are all members of the Community Action Partnership.  The Community Action Partnership is a national, 501(c)3 nonprofit membership organization that provides technical assistance, training, and other resources to Community Action Agencies, nonprofit and public groups funded by the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG), a federal program that allocates funding to states to connect Americans to greater opportunity.

Community Action was part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty and from the advocacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 created the Community Action Network of national and locally-focused organizations that connect millions of children and families to greater opportunity.

A Community Action Agency, like HCEOC, carries out its mission through a variety of means including:

(a) Community-wide assessments of needs and strengths;

(b) Comprehensive antipoverty plans and strategies;

(c) Provision of a broad range of direct services;

(d) Mobilization of financial and nonfinancial resources;

(e) Advocacy on behalf of low-income people; and

(f) Partnerships with other community-based organizations to eliminate poverty.

Additionally, HCEOC follows CSBG Organizational Standards that allow us to assess our performance and develop quality improvement actions to improve deficiencies and scale-out our successes.

A key aspect of HCEOC is involving the population it serves in the planning, administering, and evaluating of its programs.  For HCEOC district councils have been created in order to engage the population we serve.  At the Hamakua district meeting on Monday, February 3rd, HCEOC board member Dwight Takamine collected feedback from the community regarding transportation needs for seniors as well as increasing HCEOC services information to communities.  In the past these councils contributed important information for the HCEOC community needs assessment and action plan.


As an organization that has been serving Hawai’i island since 1965 HCEOC is familiar with the challenges that come with time.   Challenges are not easy and require leadership to make difficult decisions. Challenges can also provide opportunities to re-imagine how HCEOC intends to meet our mission in the 2020 landscape of possibilities.   

Beginning January 1st, HCEOC’s Executive Director, Jay Kimura, will be retiring.  We are thankful for his service at HCEOC. He has provided calm, professional leadership over the years and we wish him well as he embarks on a new chapter in his life.  While Jay will be stepping down from the Executive Director position he remains committed to the mission of HCEOC and will support in a volunteer role leading a business development committee of the board.  Deputy Director Chad Hasegawa will take over leadership of HCEOC as Interim Executive Director. Chad has been with HCEOC for seven years and has significant experience working in nonprofits. This transition will allow the board and staff to set their sights on our path in 2020 and seek the leader to move us into this exciting future. 

We hope that you have had a safe, restful and joyful holiday season. HCEOC is thankful for its board, staff, volunteers, community partners and the individuals we serve.  We look forward to sharing our 2020 direction with you in the coming months.  


Support HCEOC through AmazonSmile

Donate to HCEOC automatically when you purchase from Amazon! Just start from this link next time you go shopping on Amazon:


Chad Hasegawa, Executive Director, 47 Rainbow Drive, Hilo, Hawaii 96720, phone: (808) 961-2681, Fax (808)961-2812



George was our organization’s heart and soul for over 40 years leading this organization for many of those years as the Executive Director.  George helped serve the low-income population of this community to become more self-sufficient by teaching valuable life skills to thousands.  In George’s career at HCEOC he is credited with bringing in over $1,000,000 in grant funding to the County of Hawaii.

In September 2016 George was honored the key to the city by then Mayor Billy Kenoi. George wrote and published a book in 2015 called “Memoir of a War on Poverty in Paradise”.

“George’s memory and dedication to alleviating the symptoms of poverty will continue to be an inspiration behind the success of HCEOC” says Executive Director Jay Kimura.



Sharing Additional Opportunities from Our Community

Hawaiian Electric Company

The Public Utilities Commission issued Decision and Order No. 34467 approving the Companies’ proposed Special Medical Needs Pilot Program (Transmittal No. 17-01).  The program shall take effect from April 1, 2017, with a sunset date of March 31, 2019 and will be available to the first 2,000 eligible customers.  The summary sheet for SMNPP (Special Medical Needs Rate Pilot Program) contains the eligibility requirements and contact information for HECOC companies.

The application form will be available on the Companies’ website on April 1st and the links to the programs are:


Maui, Molokai, Lanai:

Hawai’i Island:

Ho’owaiwai Network

Services for eligible Community Members available through the Ho’owaiwai Network:

Hawaiian Community Assets

Building foundations for future generations:

Child Care: Human Services:


From Left, Kimo Haynes, President of Hawaii Petroleum Inc, Joy Madriaga, HFN & Commercial Marketing Rep. Hawaii Petroleum Inc., Jay T. Kimura, Hawaii County Economic Opportunity Council


Hawaii County Economic Opportunity Council benefits from Ohana Fuels $8,514.51 donation

Hilo, Hawaii  – On July 26, 2018, the Hawaii County Economic Opportunity Council (HCEOC) became the most recent beneficiary of the Ohana Fuels ‘Fuel Up. Do Good.’ program. Ohana Fuels partners with nonprofit organizations that serve the needs of the local community, and donates a portion of the proceeds from every gallon of gasoline purchased at Ohana Fuels stations in that community. Second quarter sales resulted in a donation to the Hawaii County Economic Opportunity Council in the amount of $8,514.51.

HCEOC is a Community Action Agency established in 1965 that strives to alleviate the symptoms of poverty and assist the most vulnerable in our community.  The agency works through many programs including the Senior Farmers Market Coupon program, the Low income Housing Energy Assistance Program, and the Weatherization Assistance Program.  In addition, they also provide transportation for handicapped, low-income, and senior clients, meals for students, housing preservation grants and education programs.

“The Board and Staff of Hawaii County Economic Opportunity Council are grateful for the generosity of Ohana Fuels in helping our organization, and the poor and vulnerable in our community,” said Jay Kimura, Executive Director.  “These funds go a long way in supporting the HCEOC mission and in addressing the issues of poverty.”

Said Kimo Haynes, President of Hawaii Petroleum, “At Ohana Fuels we feel it is our duty to assist local non-profit organizations in supporting the residents of the neighborhoods where we do business. We value the exceptional work they do, and the services they provide to those in need.” He added, “To date, our ‘Fuel up. Do good.’ program has donated more than $319,000 to deserving organizations, and we look forward to offering continued support in the years to come.”

 Ohana Fuels is Hawaii Petroleum’s retail fuel brand that provides competitively priced, quality fuels at safe, clean, and convenient locations including eight stations on the island of Maui, and eleven stations on the island of Hawaii. Certified as a TOP TIER™ fuel provider, Ohana Fuels meets the premier standard of gasoline for optimum performance and fuel efficiency. Hawaii Petroleum is committed to making a positive contribution to the communities in which our Ohana Fuels stations operate, and gives local residents a way to support the community with every tank of gas they purchase.  Learn more at