Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Molokai Clubhouse still in trouble

by Larry Geller

As you may recall, the Molokai Clubhouse, the only facility left standing on the island providing various support services to those with mental illness, was about to be closed down at the end of last year. The Lingle Administration, as part of its slash-and-burn budget reductions, had eliminated all the employees.

Those concerned readers who made phone calls along with advocates and supporters of the Clubhouse got the job reinstated on the very last day of the year.

According to the minutes of the State Council on Mental Health and reports from Maui advocates, the Molokai Clubhouse is in danger again, and it needs further intervention or it will shut down on June 30.

First, there is no money allocated for rent past June 30. All the good work and fundraising of the Honolulu Metro Rotary Club will go up in smoke if the facility gets kicked out (see photos at that link or below).

Second, the one remaining employee is carrying a caseload of about 70, according to a report, and has many duties related to operating the Clubhouse and keeping it going. That’s too much even without the additional duties.

The state needs to hire back one social worker to divide the work. I hear about “dragging their heels” and other delays. With the unemployment situation as it is, there must be many candidates to choose from. Of course, I don’t know what the bureaucratic issue is, just that the cutbacks need to be reversed.

If you would like to intervene, I would suggest calling the Governor. Calling the Department of Health has historically not reversed any of their shutdown plans. For example, it took the intervention of Governor Cayetano to reverse the DOH decision many years back to close the Diamond Head Mental Health Center, a critical facility serving a large population in that area. So yes, go right to the top. 586-0034 will get you someone in the Governor’s office.

Of course, if you happen to be someone who has her personal cell phone number, please use that.




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