City to open a Provisional Outdoor Screening and Triage (POST) facility in Pearl City
News Release from City and County of Honolulu, April 27, 2020
HONOLULU – Today, the City will be opening a new Provisional Outdoor Screening and Triage (POST) blue site at Lehua Community Park in Pearl City.
While the POST red site is operational at Ke‘ehi Lagoon Park, the City was reviewing options for a POST blue site. The POST is an extension of the HONU (Homeless Outreach and Navigation for Unsheltered Persons) program that temporarily repurposes resources from the $6 million Ohana Zone contract. HONU provides very temporary shelter and triage services while navigating people experiencing homelessness to shelter. Due to the impact of COVID-19 on the existing shelter systems, both the State and the City have recognized the need for more immediate shelter options that implement physical distancing guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Due to the pandemic, site decisions had to be made quickly without the usual extensive community engagement process.
The blue site is only for individuals who showed no symptoms of COVID-19 during a 15-day lock down in a POST red site. The blue site will provide shelter intake, housing, or other services. It is under 24/7 supervision by the Honolulu Police Department. It will only be operational at Lehua Community Park during the pandemic and will cease operation should nearby schools reopen.
“This pandemic is creating new challenges for us but once again, Captain Mike Lambert and the rest of the Honolulu Police Department, along with other City departments, moved quickly to ensure the health and safety of the community, and further prevent community spread”, said Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “Taking care of our homeless community is especially important during these uncertain times and that’s why we are stepping up efforts to give homeless individuals the care and services they need to stay healthy and safely physically distance themselves.”
The Honolulu Police Department offered the concept of the POST Facility, which will serve as a temporary resource for homeless persons who are:
- unable to access shelters due to current capacity issues;
- in need of a place to self-quarantine as a result of the statewide mandatory quarantine for incoming arrivals; and
- unable to safely practice physical distancing and hygiene at their current unsheltered location.
If homeless individuals at POST become sick, they will be tested and transferred to the Ka‘aahi Street shelter or another appropriate healthcare facility, where they can receive health services.
The Honolulu Police Department will provide upgraded enforcements in the area, as well as strong presence of homeless service providers to assist clients at the new POST blue site.