“Vandalism, Destruction and Filth” at Small Boat Harbor Restrooms Since Reopening Last Week
Since the state reopened restrooms last week in compliance with CDC and prevention guidance on COVID-19, the state reports an uptick in “vandalism, destruction and filth” as well as criminal activities at facilities across the state.
Last Wednesday all DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation restrooms statewide at state small boat harbors and boat ramps reopened to ensure availability of toilets and hand washing facilities for people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 emergency.
“Toilet paper has been stolen from all bathrooms and almost all have had their dispensers broken. On Maui, all harbor restrooms have been vandalized with graffiti and worse on the walls,” said Ed Underwood, DOBOR Administrator. At least one restroom facility has been closed due to the toilet being stuffed with materials.
Currently, Waiʻanae is not facing the destruction and disregard that other SBH restrooms are experiencing. The Puʻuhonua o Wai’anae and Hui Aloha asked DOBOR to open bathrooms and have offered to assist in maintaining them and caring for them. The two community groups have set up bathroom brigades to curb vandalism and ensure facilities there are stocked with supplies. Under their stewardship the Waiʻanae SBH restrooms are otherwise spotless. However, because of vandalism at night, DLNR in consultation with the Puʻuhonua, will be closing the Waiʻanae restrooms at 4 p.m. daily.
Given the rate of destruction and shortages of overall supplies which includes cleaners, toilet paper and personal protection equipment for staff, the DLNR/DOBOR may not be able to keep additional SBH facilities open through April 30, unless homeless communities or service providers step up to help take care of them.
If any community groups would like to help for any DLNR restrooms or other public restrooms, please contact the Behavioral Health and Homelessness Statewide Unified Response Group (BHH-SURG) at https://bhhsurg.hawaii.gov/