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Politics // The Right Price
Larry Price

‘Hygiene Centers’ Are A Bad Idea

One of the poorest reasons for having “hygiene centers” constructed as a way of combating our out-of-control homeless problem is to say, they have worked fairly well in Seattle.

For many years Hawaii’s elected officials have traveled to far-off places and brought back “new ideas.” It’s painful to think we don’t have any original ideas coming from our elected officials.

The reason is simple: Hawaii is an unique place and we deserve fresh ideas for new problems that arise. It’s pretty obvious that we’ve had homeless people in Hawaii for a long time, on all our islands. What’s new is they are more organized than “hippies, hobos, drifters, panhandlers and the chronically unemployed.”

Homelessness is now an excuse to break the law, not observe rules or get free handouts at the expense of others.

Hawaii has many generous programs to help. What’s lacking is any family support for these people. It makes you wonder, where are their family members? I suspect that some of the homeless are impossible for some family members to handle – they won’t follow any rules and are totally void of any kind of discipline.

I’m shocked that our City Council is still considering hygiene centers to make our homeless population more acceptable to taxpayers and our valued tourist population. A hygiene center in Waikiki would stick out like a sore thumb and would be another extension of our welfare system.

Can you imagine what a “hygiene center’ would look like with its occupants hand-washed laundry on homemade clotheslines. Of course I’m sure someone would suggest providing the hygiene centers with electric washers and dryers and a special group of volunteers to help them with repairing their clothing.

People who work with our homeless population are social angels, and we would be dead without their help. Just maybe this is part of the problem. It’s like being a chef and wanting to make a nice chicken salad, but not having any chicken. If the homeless need anything it is discipline and some direction. They are not likely to get the discipline or direction from workers from the Parks and Recreation Department. This is a worthy challenge for counselors and all members of the medical profession. There is a possibility that the military establishment could offer some fine insight into how to deal with people without a home. Hygiene centers is a cute idea, not original and not worthy of our taxpayers’ hard-earned money.

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