Chinatown ‘hygiene center’ closed for repairs

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A much-touted “hygiene center” aimed at Chinatown’s homeless population will be closed for repairs for one week.

The city announced the public restrooms and shower at Pauahi Hale will be closed from Monday, May 4, through May 11.

A contractor is scheduled to perform repair work to correct issues with the epoxy and non-skid floor coverings, which is covered under warranty. Seven days are required to complete the work and allow proper curing of the floor covering material.

According to Chinatown officials as many as 70-80 people are taking advantage of the free hygiene center on a daily basis. When open it provides towels, shampoo, soap, and even shaving cream to patrons for free.

Chu Lan Shubert-Kwock says the facility was hastily built, and with the heavy use it has led to some damage of drywall and faulty pipes.

Mental Health Kokua first opened the hygiene center back in February. It was opened in response to cries from Chinatown merchants about a large homeless population, and people frequently using the bathroom on the sidewalk fronting stores.

Once the renovation is finished it should reopen. For now anyone in the Chinatown area is allowed to use that bathroom at the H.P.D. Substation.

While the Pauahi Hale facilities are closed for repairs, the city said that the public may use the 24-hour restroom at the Honolulu Police Department Chinatown Substation, located at 79 North Hotel Street.

The restrooms and shower located on North Pauahi Street, and operated and managed by Mental Health Kokua, opened in early February.

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