The nonprofit group Project Vision Hawaii and partners have imported a 26-foot trailer with hot showers, bathrooms, and toilets and being towing it all over Oahu to provide the homeless a safe place to wash up.
When they arrived in Kailua, people were lined up before they even opened. Annie Valentin, executive director of Project Vision Hawaii explains, “‘Hiehie’ means ‘dignity,’ ‘distinguished,’ like the word you would use for the queen. We want to revive the dignity that is already in people.”
The trailer will come with a staff of two or three workers that will provide donated towels and toiletries. The idea is to provide 6,000 showers a year while partnering with social service agencies in various locations to offer a range of homeless services, including permanent housing. As Valentin said. “That is the end goal, housing.” Until that time comes, they just want to provide Oahu’s homeless with a greater sense of dignity.“We’re just trying to provide a basic human need,” she said. “I know I’m a better person after a hot shower.”
Helping the homeless isn't just about human survival, it's about compassion.