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Honolulu community gathers to clean up vandalized Chinatown

Photo by boaski via Wikimedia Commons

Visitors recently defaced  Honolulu’s Chinatown with trash and graffiti. Last Saturday, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce organized a volunteer effort to clean up the trash and remove the graffiti, KHON-TV reports.

Chinese Chamber of Commerce member Wesley Fong is disappointed by the current state of Honolulu’s Chinatown but proud of the efforts made to restore it.

“What we really want to do is take back Chinatown and make it safe and secure for our local residents and tourists,” Fong told KHON-TV. “The ones who live, work and visit. When we have our local residents and our tourists coming to Chinatown, we don’t want them to be afraid anymore.”

In a photo gallery by Star-Advertiser, volunteers and city employees picked up trash, painted over graffiti and touched up vandalized streets.

“We have a crew out here helping to paint… we have crews out here also cleaning up utility poles, fire hydrants, mailboxes that are full of graffiti, ” Chinese Chamber of Commerce President Russell Lau told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

KHON-TV also reports that Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi joined in on helping clean Chinatown.

“We made a promise to do something for Chinatown that has been talked about forever and has not been done,” Blangiardi told Yahoo! News. “The time has come.”

Alongside restoring Honolulu’s Chinatown, Blangiardi has plans to launch a Crisis Outreach Response and Engagement program. Blangiardi plans to use this program to use mental health and medical specialists instead of police to respond to calls that involve homeless people.

These efforts will hopefully restore Honolulu, according to Blangiardi.

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  1. I live near PearlRidge Mall and have been vigorously trying for months to get effective help to control the few ( 1-2 in particular) homeless people who actively work to deface our neighborhood. The police know who they are – one woman especially. They have had complaints from others as well. They insist their hands are tied. What ever intervention occurs, it must have power behind it to compel cooperation. A group of mental health professionals empowered to address this problem would be very welcome and is overdue! BUT they must be adequately staffed, they must be mobile, they must be able to compel cooperation AND it must be clear how members of public can make referrals to them. A few destructive, homeless people can create backlash against the homeless community in general and this complicate attempts to address the issue of homelessness.


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