A local non-profit said it’s heartbroken and fed up after a recent rash of vandalism on its property.
This week someone vandalized a decades-old mural with graffiti at the Moiliili Community Center, and it wasn’t the first issue.
Over the last month, the center’s vehicles have also been vandalized causing thousands of dollars in damage.
The center provides Japanese language classes for children and free programs for our kupuna. These acts of vandalism are costly and have everyone wondering why.
“They chose to graffiti our mural and leave the white wall, white. What was the purpose for that, what is that purpose? Because they knew they’d be really hurting someone’s feelings? Well then they were very successful,” Exec. Director Nadine Nishioka said.
The center says the seniors are crushed. The mural was painted about 40 years ago.
In recent weeks, many of the center vehicles have been keyed or scratched and windows busted.
“For many, this is their family, so when they come and they see all of this happening, it’s like it’s their own home being destroyed,” Nishioka said. “I don’t know how we can repair it or fix it but that’s what’s bringing a lot of heartfelt paint to our participants.”
A check of Crimemapping.com showed there’ve been 18 reports of vandalism within a mile radius of the center just over the last week.
The center has already hired a security guard. Now it’s looking at installing cameras, even a security fence but that alone could cost $50,000. It’s money the center just doesn’t have.
“That’s money that can be used for our programs, for our seniors, for our children,” Nishioka said. “Anything that is spent needlessly is taking away from all of the participants that we have here.”
We’re told the center has been around for 115 years and serves between 300 – 500 seniors a week and offers activities like bon dancing and hula classes.
“I always look forward to this because it’s so enjoyable,” Doris Jones, a senior who has been attending the center for 10 years, said. “It is very sad that we have people who do things like that.”
Nishioka hopes the vandal or vandals are caught soon.
“I want to know, whoever is doing this, think about their grandparents and their parents and who they’re hurting because that’s who is really suffering.”
The center told KHON2 each incident has been reported to HPD and that police are patrolling the area more since the vandalism started.