A GoFundMe account has been set up to raise money to help cover repair costs after a medical service van used by the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine was vandalized sometime Friday night or early Saturday morning.
It was the third time this year the van, used to provide free medical care and medications to Oahu’s homeless, was targeted by criminals. In separate incidents in February, the van’s catalytic converter was stolen, and a window was broken and items stolen, according to a JABSOM news release.
This time, vandals smashed the brake lights and spray-painted graffiti on the H.O.M.E. Project van, a converted recreational vehicle that was parked at the medical school in Kakaako.
H.O.M.E is an acronym for Houseless Outreach & Medical Education. The van visits sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons through weekly student-run clinics at nine Oahu sites.
It is also used for outreach and for special events for keiki living at shelters.
“Our mobile van is critical for the functioning of our clinic and we can’t provide our usual services without (it),” said Dr. Jill Omori, executive director of Hawaii HOME Project.
“To find the RV once again vandalized sometime last night is devastating for our medical students because volunteering on van missions is one of JABSOM’s requirements in the medical doctor program,” said Omori, who also serves as associate professor of family medicine and community health, and director of the Office of Medical Education.