Maui Strong 808: Families still searching for homes as tourists return

ABC News’ Mola Lenghi spoke with families and Maui residents who lost their homes in the fires and are still trying to settle into their current housing as officials reopen the area to tourism.

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51 Comments

  1. That has to be frustrating and difficult for these families to live this way. I hope permanent housing will become reality for them and soon.

  2. I was born and raised in the islands, not on Maui but another island, and watching the events post fire, I can say that I am extremely ashamed of how our so-called government has treated the people of Lahaina, or what is left of it … much more to say, but nuff said …

    1. @e-4051, that is a legitimate question that has not been addressed by the news. Are people receiving funds from home owners insurance or not? Do you know?

    2. @Transmission Repair Most Homeowners insurance will not cover this disaster. What happened was a borderline result of a Hurricane to our south which caused windstorms through canyons and the grass was already tinder dry due to long periods of draught. Many homeowners companies refuse to cover Hawaii at all, like many parts of California. Much of whether or not you get coverage is dependent on where you live. Plus County Government seems to be stunned. It was a sort of perfect storm, and relief has been remarkably slow.

  3. This makes me sick to my stomach seeing our own citizens being treated like trash while our government lets the entire world come here and they give them everything they need .

    1. Exactly. I just watched a video that showed a city in Illinois that got $8M in federal funds to help with providing for the surge of migrants in their community. Here we have actual Americans in Hawaii being shuffled like livestock. It’s tragic.

  4. I was in tears watching this. THIS IS NOT OK!!! How is this legal in our country?!?! I watched Josh Green at a live say that NO family will be left homeless with the reopening. THIS doesn’t look like what he said!! These families GoFundMe should be listed on your page here for us to help. I love you sweet people. ❤

    1. Why are all these homeowners using Red Cross money? What about their homeowners insurance? Did they not have additional living expense? What’s going on with the repairs on their house?

    2. he’s kicking out 8, 000 any day now..we will have 8, 000 instant homeless, jobless, car less,,,suicides are soaring

  5. Hawaiian Government should be ashamed of themselves! Our FEMA should be ashamed as does Red Cross! The Hawaiian people deserve so much better! People should never forget what happened in Louisiana after Katrina and in Puerto Rico after several Hurricanes like Maria recently. The mainland government should take care of its citizens.

    1. Louisiana doesn’t need anyone to speak on its behalf. We have cleaned up, rebuilt much of what was lost and have moved on. Why are people so adamant about sitting in misery?

    2. A lot of Hawaiians don’t consider themselves Americans. I love Hawaii but they really need a better attitude if they want help from the mainland.

    3. How much is NYC spending on the illegal immigrants? It’s been reported about $400 per day per person. Every one of these people needs a secure home, and food until their home or business is rebuilt by the government. Who caused this disaster?

  6. Out of all the Hawaiian islands Maui was always my favorite It always felt like a small close knit community, I love the laid back carefree atmosphere , The block long Banyon trees in Lahaina were my favorite to spend hours viewing. As much as I want to go back I couldn’t knowing the people of Maui are still suffering. God bless Maui & it’s people

    1. Here’s the thing, Maui, for better or for worse, is heavily dependent on tourism. Lahainatown is where the fire happened. South Maui, Kihei, Wailea…were NOT affected by the fire but they’re losing millions. Ka’anapali was not affected but has been closed by the government. They’re reopening in phases. FEMA and the Red Cross are putting some people up in the hotels in Ka’anapali beach and elsewhere. Many of the big hotel chains who also own timeshares in Maui have housed their own and made sure their employees are signed up for all available assistance. These same hotels have let people who simply aren’t ready to come back to work stay home. Some of the local chains have paid their staff in spite of them being closed. Slowly they’re repoening. The media is doing NO favors by saying there are protestors and no one wants visitors. That simply is NOT true. go to Maui. Tip generously. Go out to eat, go on guided tours. THAT’S how they come back.
      The Hawaiian people are strong and resilient. They deserve their land and help. Maui No Ka Oi.

    2. They only survive with tourists money. Almost everyone that lives there works in some fashion for the tourist industry. The whole state cannot survive without tourism. I love Lahaina, it was my favorite place on any of the islands. Why are we not rebuilding this town for them? Our federal government cares more about illegal border crossers than our own citizens. Where is FEMA? They should be able to put up shelter for every single family that lost a home while the rubble is cleared and we help them rebuild.

    3. Sadly, so many people do not feel the same as you. All they see is the inconvenience of having to change their vacation plans. Or the ones who grumbled initially that their accommodations were canceled. They are so self-involved that they can’t and don’t see the big picture. All they see is how this affected them. Shameful. Truly Shameful. And worse. Are the tourists who purposely travel to locations. Such as Lahaina. To see the destruction. They get off on seeing things like this. They find it enjoyable, and fun to do. Those folks, IMHO are subhuman. I’m hoping that anyone who chooses to travel to Maui. They take a good look inside of themselves. And determine what is the bigger priority. Go to Maui. Knowing full well that Maui has so much more to offer. And make that conscious decision to NOT travel to the West Side. And make arrangements elsewhere. Giving the West Side Community the time and space they deserve to grieve for THEIR losses. Rebuild their homes and lives. To care for their devastated children and other family members. Or, go. And expect aloha to be bestowed upon you by a few thousand of the most emotionally damaged, financially devastated, disrespected, heartbroken, and traumatized AMERICANS you will probably ever meet again in your life. Oh, and don’t get pissed off when there seems to be a disproportionate amount of homeless FAMILIES on the beach in front of your hotel…….the choice is yours. I hope you choose humanity…..( @sonja619purrsnpoms4 …I’m sorry for hijacking your comment. I tend to get wordy sometimes. And this was in no way meant as an attack on you personally. I thank you for choosing humanity😊)

  7. I can’t imagine how lonely and forgotten people must be feeling. It takes WEEKS to recover from the stress of a week-long blackout when your home survives. I cannot imagine how stressful this must be. I would forever lose hope in my government and state legislation if this happened to ANYONE in my community.

    1. I don’t think it takes weeks…more like months to years, even once you have things rebuilt the emotional scares and trauma will still be there.

    1. update from Maui. suicides are soaring, all are being kicked out any day now, 8000 instant homeless, no jobs, no house , no $,,,they even hired the dude that cut our water off , back. its gets worse

    2. I’m sure the tourist that visits parts of Maui will be confronted by locals and it might not be a really great vacation at this time. The Maui county officials wants to reopen as they have a home to go to.Not the Lahaina victims.
      The county really needs the money from outsiders to fill the void to run the system.
      The county wont release any information about the fire and timeline on what events happened on that very day,8/8/23.
      The Mayor was suppose be in charge but he said,”I don’t know who was in charge” What kind of answer is that? To much critical information being held and this is how victims are treated.
      People need to know that Maui county officials emergency response was a failure.Nobody really knew what to do.The sirens were never sounded,water was not available for the MFD,roads leading out of the burning area were blocked by police.

  8. As a resident of Hawaii, this is always in the front of our minds. How to balance tourism which would fund much of the recovery of Lahaina in opposition to the lives of the people of West Maui. Rents have skyrocketed on the Valley Isle. Many will doubtless have to leave, since Maui was one of the most expensive places in the State. I am glad I am not sitting in Mayor Bissen’s chair right now.

  9. I am so sorry, we are mourning with you! I hope tourists THINK about what the locals have lost and the time they need to heal!

    1. Meanwhile the state loses money from tourism tax as well as businesses losing tourist income. And the locals still have their hand out wanting money. Let the state make the money to give to them.

  10. My heart is aching for the residence of Maui. I pray they will recover from this. Please do not sell your land and look out for real estate sharks. They are on the prowl

    1. Take a close look at what you are saying. These people are completely controlled by the government. They have been kept away from their own land. Now, they can’t sell and they can’t rebuild. They don’t have long-term housing. What would you expect them to do when the government is the cause of the many of the problems. How did the fire start? Who is responsible? You warn about real estate sharks? Really?

  11. We have Ohana on Oahu and totally love Maui.
    This horrible tragedy is heartbraking.
    It is so emotional trying to decide when to re store tourism to West Maui.
    Everyone has different needs economically and when to go back to work, there is no easy answer.
    The local,state,and federal governments are making this even more difficult.
    The federal government giving multi billions $ to foreign allies.
    American citizens need that economic aid now to recover and re start their lives.
    Take care of the people of Maui first then start giving again to allies.
    Maui No Ka Oi !
    Maui Strong !!

  12. So heartbreaking still, I couldn’t imagine going there for a vacation while locals are hurting so much. Sending money and prayers is the best way to respect their grieving process and will be years not just a few months. 🙏🙏🙏🙏

  13. My family of 10 had a trip planned to Maui at the end of this month but we felt that this was not a good time to go as the people of Maui might need the condo so we cancelled over a month ago. We could not go and enjoy ourselves knowing people there were suffering and homeless. Praying for all you Maui residents. 🙏❤

  14. Deplorable. Keep Maui people in your heart and keep these updates coming. We need to know about this and help them. ❤

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