Neighborhood streets of Honolulu get a new look thanks to volunteers with the ARC

Neighborhood streets of Honolulu get a new look thanks to volunteers with the ARC

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A group from The Salvation Army Honolulu Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) lends a helping hand at a neighborhood clean-up event.

The Salvation Army Honolulu Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) is nestled into a compact and busy stretch of town or, as Honolulu ARC Administrator for Program Major Ronalee Fenrich describes it, “densely situated.”

With community and life around every block, there comes a need for cleanliness and upkeep of the outside areas. To manage this, select Honolulu neighborhoods have scheduled time slots in which law enforcement comes out and asks anyone residing on the sidewalk to temporarily relocate so a health and safety clean-up can take place.

Fenrich said human waste and sometimes drug paraphernalia and weapons are removed during this time, among other things. Once the clean-up is complete, individuals can resituate into their original spots if they wish to do so.

During plans for the March 25 health and safety clean-up, the Honolulu Police Department reached out to the public for any volunteers willing to assist in an organized community clean-up that could give the streets a brighter look.

With permission from those who temporarily relocated their belongings, those participating in the community clean-up could take a few extra hours to complete a detailed revamp of the outside areas and business fronts.

“We could pick up smaller bits of trash. We could get in the nooks and crannies of the buildings. We could paint over graffiti, and that’s what we focused on,” said Fenrich.

While the Honolulu Police Department focused on removing hazardous items and large objects such as furniture and shopping carts, a group of employees and alumni from the Honolulu ARC disposed of trash, metal cans and clothing before painting over graffiti.

Nearby business owners and city council members were among those assisting in the clean-up. The entire process took over three hours and covered roughly two blocks, recalled Fenrich.

“We wanted to give The Salvation Army a good name by showing [Honolulu PD and city council] what we do over here and how men in recovery help out the community,” said Dustin Woodard, Honolulu ARC Resident Manager and an ARC alumni.

Neighborhood streets of Honolulu get a new look thanks to volunteers with the ARC

Part of The Salvation Army ARC program incorporates community-based work that can further develop life and social skills, making it easier for someone to transition into the workforce.

Woodard found the ARC during his path to recovery. After struggling with drug use for nearly three decades, he turned to the ARC as his first program. And since then, he’s never looked back.

“My perspective is that The Salvation Army works. If you let it help you, it works. If you don’t let it help you, then it won’t work for you,” said Woodard.

In his position at the Honolulu ARC, he oversees the men who come into the program and assists them on their path to recovery.

Woodard said that because The Salvation Army was there for him as he was recovering from drug addiction, he now wants to be a part of the reason someone is able to fight addiction and find sobriety.

“I wanted to give back to men and offer them what I received while I was in the program,” said Woodard.

This social support that the ARC comes with was present during the beautification event.

“Everybody was in good spirits,” said Woodward.

Once the clean-up was complete, both Fenrich and Woodard noticed a visible difference in the appearance of the outside areas. Also impressed by the outcome of the clean-up were Honolulu City Council members, who requested a tour of the ARC. The result? Further plans for another, larger Honolulu beautification event.

“We have come up with a tentative date in June that we’re hoping HPD will agree to, so that we can get more police officers, more resource officers, and more people in the community and neighborhood boards to get involved,” said Fenrich.

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