Proposed legislation would provide funds to open more mobile clinics for Hawaii's homeless
Project Vision Hawaii has seven mobile units statewide that provide medical and hygiene services for the homeless. In 2018, the organization rolled out its first mobile shower unit. Since then, Project Vision Hawaii has served more than 650 people. Proposed legislation would provide funds to buy, staff and operate two more mobile clinics. The non-profit hopes to get some of the potential dollars and expand to other areas arou...
Some state senators in the legislature want more mobile clinics for Hawaii's homeless population. Compared to the emergency room, they believe it's more cost effective.
Albert Makilan lives at Crane Park in Kapahulu. He bikes to beaches in Waikiki or Kahala when he needs a shower. Once a month, he gets to take a hot shower inside Hiehie, a mobile hygiene center with a private toilet and shower.
"I wish was more times, once a week, once a month, it's rough for hot water but it's worth it," Makilan said. "A lot of people outlook on us is we stink, we dirty, we this and that. We clean for the most part."
The mobile shower unit is part of Project Vision Hawaii, a non-profit that provides both medical and hygiene services for the homeless.
"The beauty of this service is we're able to go to where people are and approach people on their term," Annie Valentin, project vision Hawaii executive director, said.
The latest homeless count shows just over 4,300 homeless individuals on Oahu. In the last year, more than 650 people used Hiehie.
"We've seen some incredible transformations in people who have not received human services like a long hot shower. We've had grown men come out crying. We've seen families go to shelters," Valentin said.
There's one unit on Oahu and another on Hawaii Island. Project Vision also has five medical clinics on wheels across the state.
The proposed legislation would fund two mobile clinics that would include a shower, along with medical and mental health resources.
The organization supports the idea but...
"The investment should be directed bringing those resources together vs in investing in new clinics," Valentin said.
If the bill becomes law and the funding is released, organizations would have to bid to operate the mobile clinics.