The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources' Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation tried to bring good some good to its people in tough times, but restroom vandalism got in the way.
The department reopened public restrooms at all small boat harbors and boat ramps in late March at the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The hope was that the reopening would give homeless people a clean place to use the restroom and everything they need to practice good hand hygiene. Unfortunately, the restrooms ended up being a hub for vandalism and other illegal activity, including the theft of toilet paper and destruction of dispensers, according to a statement from the department.
In some instances, community groups are helping the state out by providing effective stewardship that involves the stocking of supplies and "bathroom brigades" that discourage vandalism. Unfortunately, this might not be enough. The department says the restrooms might be closed after April 30 unless homeless communities and other groups help.
Anyone in Hawaii that would like to help the causes is encouraged to contact the Behavioral Health and Homelessness Statewide Unified Response Group at https://health.hawaii.gov/camhd/bhhsurg-covid19-guidance/.
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