Palolo Chinese Home’s rich history began in Hawaii in the 19th century. Beginning in 1852, the Chinese were the first of many to immigrate to Hawaii as sugar plantation laborers. As was the case with most contract workers, of the early Chinese immigrants were single men.
Each of the ethnic groups that came to Hawaii brought their own traditions and values to the host culture. Among their many contributions to Hawaii’s culture, the Chinese maintained a 3000-year-old ethic of filial piety and benevolence towards the elderly, which continues to this day. This respect and care for elders motivated 326 of Hawaii’s leading Chinese residents to launch a drive in 1896 to establish a hospital in downtown Honolulu as “a home for the aged and infirmed.”
When a larger facility was needed, funds from the Chinese Hospital were added to community contributions and applied to the purchase of 15 acres in Palolo Valley on Oahu. Organized by the Chinese Men’s Committee of the Associated Charities of Hawaii, a predecessor of the Aloha United Way, the Palolo Chinese (Old Men’s) Home was established in 1920 on the former grounds of the Gospel Mission Church in response to the increasing number of elderly men in Honolulu who were single, aged, immigrant plantation workers with no families to care for them. The Home was expanded to include women in 1972 and through the years has become representative of Hawaii’s diverse ethnic mix of Chinese, Japanese, Hawaiian, Pacific Islanders and Caucasians. The Associated Charities of Hawaii administered the Palolo Chinese Home until 1941 when it was incorporated under its own Board of Directors.
Today, the Palolo Chinese Home (PCH) is a private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located at 2459 Tenth Avenue in Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii, on 15 acres in the residential community of Palolo.
PCH is Hawaii’s largest and second oldest Adult Residential Care Home (ARCH II – Expanded Care). We are a community-based, freestanding, geriatric care home that provides a residential, non-medical setting for Adult Residential Care, Skilled Nursing/Intermediate Care, Adult Day Care and Overnight Respite Care services.
PCH’s innovative community-based Hawaii Neighborhood Outreach to the Aged (HiNOA) program provides services for seniors in their homes, including physician home visits and chore services. PCH provides in-home meal deliveries through its Meals-to-Go program to seniors in the neighboring community. PCH also provides hospice care on premises through arrangements with several hospice providers. (More on Programs and Services)
Palolo Chinese Home’s original cottages were constructed in the 1920’s, followed by the construction of the first large dormitory, Hemenway Hall, in 1936. Farm Hall, the kitchen and dining facility, was constructed in 1957, Victoria Ward Hall, currently our adult residential care home, constructed in 1968, and Lani Booth Hall constructed in 1972 for women. In August 2001, following a market feasibility study and recognizing the immediate need for facility upgrades while maintaining affordable costs to residents, the Home’s Board of Directors formally committed to embark on a campaign to redevelop Palolo Chinese Home’s campus and programs. (Take a Photo Tour)
Phase I of the campus redevelopment project, completed in December 2006, included upgrading campus infrastructure (sewer, plumbing, lower road, etc.) as well as renovating the Lani Booth Hall to accommodate the community outreach program (Hawaii Neighborhood Outreach to the Aged/HiNOA), an adult day care program and a 15-bed skilled nursing / intermediate care nursing unit. After renovation, Lani Booth Hall was renamed Harry C. Wong Hall in recognition of a substantial contribution towards the costs of the campus redevelopment project.
Phase II was the construction of a three-story Skilled Nursing/Food Service Complex building, the first new construction since 1972. The complex houses two floors of nursing home beds; a new food service kitchen with state-of-the-art equipment, and a Wellness Center, which provides physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy for residents and community members. With the completion of Phase II in July 2009, PCH increased its residential program capacity from 65 to 111 seniors, and created more than 30 additional jobs.
More than 100 years after its charitable beginnings, the Palolo Chinese Home continues to honor its founding principles while moving forward with the planned growth of its facilities and programs in order to provide a continuum of quality care for Hawaii’s elder community and meet its mission to aid the aged in Hawaii regardless of race, religion, gender and national origin.