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HHHRC's Dr. Wang Featured in Star-Advertiser Story on Honolulu's "Sanitation" Sweeps

Updated: Sep 17, 2021

In a Sept. 14 front-page article in The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, HHHRC's Dr. Christina Wang responded to the recent sweeps of persons experiencing homelessness during the pandemic emergency:

Care providers such as Dr. Christina Wang with the Hawaii Health Harm Reduction Center say they have seen detrimental effects of moving homeless people from place to place. Wang has been running an outreach program in Chinatown on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the past seven years.

“What ends up happening is the patient loses a lot of continuity of care,” she said.

“They get shuffled along and we can’t find them, our outreach workers can’t find them, and then they sort of get lost for a while and we have to start all over again. So it really does a disservice to actually fixing the larger crux of the issues.”

HHHRC is strongly opposed to the use of "sanitation" to describe these efforts, as its usage furthers stigma against members of our community who are already viewed as "others."

For those who are jailed, they will be exposed to facilities that are overcrowded and have been deficient on hygiene and sanitation even prior to COVID. OCCC recently reported 100 new positive tests among prisoners, bringing its positivity totals to 155 inmates and 18 staff.

Dr. Wang was joined by ACLU Hawai'i Executive Director Josh Wisch and Deja Ostrowski, an attorney with the Medical Legal Partnership for Children.

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