‘It means a lot,’ programs to help local heroes expanding
It’s been about one week since the Hotels for Heroes program opened. Since then 971 room nights have been booked.
One of the people using the program is Maui Memorial doctor Art Chasen. Since the pandemic came to Hawaii, Chasen has decided to stay away from his family to keep them safe. He hasn’t seen them in three weeks.
“It’s highly transmissible. Some providers are going to get it and we all knew that, and that’s why I stopped going home,” said Chasen. “I have an office near the hospital, and I essentially moved out of my house into my office and just bought a full mattress. I was staying on the floor.”
When the Hotels for Heroes program opened, Chasen said he jumped at the chance. He traded in a mattress on the floor for a room at the Maui Beach Hotel.
“It is miserable that you’re not home. You know, that is miserable, but it’s not as bad for me being in a hotel. It’s not as bad as it was sleeping on the floor in my office,” said Chasen.
Mufi Hanneman, President and CEO of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association said any healthcare worker or first responder who isn’t under a mandatory quarantine and is still working can apply to stay in a hotel free of charge as part of the program.