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Oahu homeless people offered trailer with showers, toilets

March 1, 2018

HONOLULU (AP) — A nonprofit group has started towing a 26-foot trailer around Oahu to provide homeless people a place to get clean.

Annie Valentin, executive director of Project Vision Hawaii, said the hygiene trailer provided hot showers and the use of its toilets to nine people in Wahiawa on Saturday and a dozen more Tuesday morning in Kailua.

Valentin said people were lined up in Kailua before the trailer opened.

“We want to revive the dignity that is already in people,” she said. “We’re super excited.”

The trailer is outfitted with three stalls that have their own hot showers and toilets. One complies with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements and includes a diaper changing table.

The trailer is modeled after California’s nonprofit “Lava Mae” buses that help keep streets clean.

City officials tried to replicate the Lava Mae idea on Oahu last year by trying to convert two obsolete Honolulu city buses into Hawaii’s first “mobile hygiene centers,” but that attempt proved to be too costly.

“It’s more cost effective to use the trailer,” Valentin said. “If you can haul a boat, you can haul this trailer. You don’t need a special license.”

The city is now working to match the Project Vision Hawaii trailer with one of its own.

“Our effort is going to take a few more months,” city spokesman Andrew Pereira said.

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