1 year later, city touts success of Punawai Rest Stop for homeless

Laundry services are among what's offered at the rest stop.
Laundry services are among what's offered at the rest stop.(Hawaii News Now)
Published: Jan. 7, 2020 at 10:12 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) -One year after it first opened its doors, city officials say the Punawai Rest Stop for homeless on Kuwili Street is a big success.

Since December 2018, the one-stop hygiene center helped place a total of 92 homeless people into housing; 35 were able to get jobs; and 10 entered into substance abuse treatment.

They added the facility helps more than 2,200 clients by giving them a place to shower or wash their clothes.

“The rest stop provided me all this care, the clothes, donation, food, basically the showers, everything,” client Rudolph Pope said.

City leaders are hoping to create more stops like Punawai, and they recognize Oahu’s large homeless population.

“It highlights the fact that the need for the services that we are providing here are still very great in our city,” Councilman Joey Manahan said.

Others recognize the need, but understand hesitation for more, depending on location.

“Every community, in some cases, they don’t want services like this. For us, this is something I think was very necessary,” Ken Farm of the Kalihi-Palama Neighborhood board said.

The facility is operated by Mental Health Kokua and has showers, restrooms, a laundromat, computer room, and lockers. It’s open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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