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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, June 1, 2002

Clinic scores with paint job, check

By Mike Gordon
Advertiser Staff Writer

A new coat of paint will never look so good to Laura Thielen, especially when it comes with a $10,000 check.

Thielen is project coordinator for the Kalihi-Palama Health Center's Health Care for the Homeless Project, which was chosen by the Kalakaua Lions Club this year for its annual service project with the Weinberg Foundation. Members of the Lions Club will paint two of the project clinics today, install cabinets and present the check from the Weinberg Foundation.

"We have very, very tiny clinics but hundreds of people use them every day," Thielen said.

The health care project serves adults who are chronically homeless and mentally ill.

The $10,000, which is given when service organizations donate time and labor, will be used to buy food, clothing and other items needed by the clients.

Thielen wasn't sure why the project was chosen, but she's not going to question it, either.

"We don't know," she said today with a smile. "We were just called one day. They said: 'What would we like?' And well, we don't get that many face-lifts at our clinics, so this is great."

The Lions will be working on two of the project's clinics — the Ohana Clinic on North King Street across from A'ala Park and at the Sumner Street Clinic at the Institute for Human Services' Men's Homeless Shelter.

"I think there's a strong need to help the homeless," said Lions member Rand Yamasaki, who is in charge of the service project.

The group has done similar projects four other times, he said. Thirty members should be there today. He said it will be a good way to spend a Saturday morning.

"I'll leave with a warm heart and a good conscience knowing that we are giving back to the community," Yamasaki said.

Reach Mike Gordon at mgordon@honoluluadvertiser.com or 525-8012.